UC Merced Update - Launching the future!


Welcome to this edition of UC Merced Update, providing you with an inside look at recent campus news and developments.

August 10, 2005



Carol Tomlinson-Keasey
Carol Tomlinson-Keasey


Dear Friends,

I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the Foundation Board of Trustees for your contribution of $50,000, which has been directed to support activities associated with the campus opening.

It has been my vision to host a series of events that would both reflect the dignity of the University of California and offer an opportunity to celebrate the long-awaited opening of UC Merced. Through your generous gift, you are helping make it possible to have a celebration befitting the occasion and I thank you.

Over the years, your initiative, dedication and support have done so much to propel campus development toward this most important milestone. I hope to see all of you on September 5, as we mark the culmination of our collective efforts to launch the campus during the Grand Opening Convocation and Celebration.

Carol Tomlinson-Keasey


Dates have been set for the next three Board of Trustees meetings, so please mark your calendars now. Our final meeting for 2005 is scheduled for December 18, and the first two meetings of 2006 will take place on March 8 and June 21. More information will be forthcoming as those dates approach.



Accompanying the upcoming series of UC Merced opening events are plenty of openings for volunteers. Foundation Diplomats should be receiving information in the mail about volunteer opportunities for the Launching the Future Celebration on August 31 and the Grand Opening Convocation and Celebration on September 5. Any of you who are interested in helping with the upcoming events also are encouraged to contact Patricia O'Connor in University Advancement at (209) 724-4401 or by e-mail at poconnor@ucmerced.edu.


Looking beyond the campus opening festivities, a special evening in downtown Merced is in the making for Chancellor's Associates members. Stay tuned for the date and other details.

Please join us in welcoming several new and returning members of our organization. Joining recently for the first time are Dean and Effie Beeman, Nancy B. Holmes, Jerald O'Banion, Rick and Ruthie Osorio, Galen and Melba Miyamoto, and Roger J. Wyan Photography. We also are pleased to welcome back returning members Sherrie Spendlove-Gallo and Ralph and Bunny Busby.

On a somber note, we were saddened to learn of the passing of Chancellor's Associates member Patricia Schiffler. Our sincere sympathy goes out to her family and friends.

For additional information about the Chancellor’s Associates, please contact Associate Vice Chancellor Mike Campbell at (209) 724-4402 or by e-mail at mcampbell@ucmerced.edu.



Local Newspaper Highlights UC Merced in Ongoing Series

Doris M. Gonella

Doris M. Gonella


Chancellor's Associates member Doris Gonella will be the next subject of an ongoing question-and-answer series featured in the Merced Sun-Star newspaper. Focused on the faculty members, administrators, staff members and supporters of the campus, this weekly series began in May and will continue through the first Tuesday in September. All content is produced by UC Merced. "An Introduction to UC Merced" offers newspaper readers insight into some of the individuals responsible for campus development, as well as the operations, goals and achievements of UC Merced. Graduate studies, campus recreation, financial aid, campus transportation plans and faculty profiles are among the subjects of past features.

Every Saturday through campus opening, the newspaper also is publishing a column called "Campus Voices," with narratives written by members of the UC Merced staff and faculty. Columns are highlighting topics ranging from the history of UC Merced and overviews of the physical campus to discussions about public policy, the future of engineering programs on campus, the role of university research and government relations. This Saturday, August 13, watch for a column by Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost David B. Ashley in which he will explain why top faculty members are drawn to UC Merced.

Look for the interview with Doris Gonella, which is scheduled to be published in the Merced Sun-Star on Tuesday, August 16. To read past interviews and columns, please contact Veronica Adrover in the Office of Communications at (209) 724-4432 or by e-mail at vadrover@ucmerced.edu.



David Ojcius Featured Speaker in Castle Lecture Series

David M. Ojcius

David M. Ojcius


"Cell Suicide and Sexually Transmitted Disease" is the topic of a lecture by Professor David Ojcius scheduled for Saturday, August 20 at 10 a.m. in the Challenger Learning Center auditorium in Atwater. The presentation is part of Castle Aviation Business Center's Frontiers of Science and Engineering Lecture Series, which has included several UC Merced professors on its roster of speakers.

Ojcius, a professor in the School of Natural Sciences, has spent several years studying sexually transmitted disease, specifically chlamydia. How the body's immune response to infection may cause miscarriage is a current focus of his research, which has received funding from a National Institutes of Health grant.

Additional information about the lecture is available by calling (209) 726-0296 and further information about the professor is available online at http://www.ucmerced.edu/faculty/facultybio.asp?facultyid=23.


Campus Opening Events Just Around the Corner

The official opening of UC Merced and the associated festivities are less than a month away!

First up is the Launching the Future Celebration, starting at 6 p.m. on August 31 at the campus. Be prepared for a memorable evening honoring the many supporters who have played a role in campus development. A barbecue dinner under the stars, a lively performance by The Capitol Steps and a dramatic campus lighting ceremony are among the planned highlights. Dress is casual for this evening extravaganza.

Marking the culmination of the celebration, the Campus Opening Convocation is set to begin at 10 a.m. on September 5. The formal procession will include UC Merced faculty members and students, UC and elected officials, and many friends of the campus. Showcasing traditional academic regalia, the procession will be a major highlight of the program, which also will feature a keynote speech by Charles Ogletree, a Harvard University professor and Merced native. Following the program, a barbecue lunch is planned as well as docent-led campus tours.

For more information, please contact Robin McIntyre in Special Events at (209) 724-4416 or by e-mail at specialevents@ucmerced.edu.


August 8, 2005
Modesto Bee
By Roger Hoskins

Seeing the Future

Site a sight, but students looking at potential
It was a match probably made in collegiate heaven.

The first members of the first class got a glimpse of their new campus Saturday and the University of California at Merced got its first look at 200 incoming students.

For both parties it was love at first sight.

August 6, 2005
Merced Sun-Star
By Scott Pesznecker

UC faculty will find housing affordable

University of California, Merced professors are some of the community's newest home buyers in a hot housing market.

While property managers are eagerly anticipating the inaugural crop of UC Merced students and their parent-backed housing allowance, local residents are worried their newest neighbors will overrun their communities.

With annual incomes ranging from $46,292 to $141,492, many of them can actually afford to buy homes here.

August 1, 2005
Modesto Bee
By Lorena Anderson

Landing an education

A swath of land where cattle spend their days grazing could soon become a cash cow for hundreds of college students.

Virginia Smith, who died in 1971, left an 11-square-mile chunk of land in Merced County to generate money for scholarships. Part of that land is the site of the University of California at Merced.

July 30, 2005
Merced Sun-Star
By Michael B. Teitz

History shows a tale of many Valleys

In human history, there have been two San Joaquin Valleys so far. The first Valley was a pristine wilderness of grasslands, swamps, lakes and river woodlands that was inhabited by Native Americans for thousands of years. Then came the Spanish explorers and missionaries, but despite 75 years of their presence in California before 1850, there was very little penetration of the interior other than by trappers and explorers.

After the Gold Rush, however, the Valley experienced its first great transformation. By dint of hard work, imagination and sheer drive, the American settlers built a new, second Valley, one that would become one of the great agricultural regions of the world. The Valley's productivity and the innovations of its inhabitants became icons of development and the basis of its current way of life.

July 22, 2005
Merced Sun-Star
By Rosalio Ahumada

UC Regents sign off on more housing for Merced

University of California regents approved a plan Thursday to build the second phase of UC Merced's student housing complex.

However, those 400 additional beds won't be enough for a student demand that increases every year, so campus officials are hoping to add a third phase of student housing units as soon as possible.

"Our goal is to have on-campus housing available to every freshman student that wants it," said Lindsay Desrochers, UC Merced vice chancellor for administration.

July 12, 2005
Merced Sun-Star

Our View: Research at UCs worthy of praise

Unless someone has just awakened from a 20-year coma, most Mercedians already know that the University of California, Merced campus is due to open late this summer to its first group of students and will grow into a world-class institution in no time at all.

What some people may not be fully aware of, however, is the dual role of UC Merced. Not only will the local campus be the 10th such in the statewide system, but also it will take on a strong research presence. That's truly an exciting prospect and something to eagerly anticipate for years to come. Even university officials admit they're not sure where these pioneering efforts will take them.


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