August 11, 2015

UCI Named ‘Coolest School’ in U.S., Again

To the Anteater Community:

I am pleased to announce that UCI has once again been named the nation’s No. 1 “Coolest School” by Sierra magazine. This tremendous feat marks the first time any university has secured the top spot more than once and the sixth consecutive year UCI has been included among the top 10 “greenest” campuses in the U.S.

The recognition is a testament to the campuswide commitment from faculty, staff and students who work to preserve our planet and help create a greener, healthier Earth.

UCI has a longstanding tradition of environmental stewardship, strengthened by the great F. Sherwood Rowland, a founding faculty member and Nobel Laureate who discovered that greenhouse gases deplete the ozone layer. His tireless dedication to atmospheric chemistry contributed to a foundation of sustainable practices, research, ethics and accomplishments evident across campus today.

Sierra magazine’s story highlights UCI’s 19-megawatt turbine cogeneration plant, three on-campus solar projects and ability to consistently exceed energy-efficiency goals. Our award-winning energy management program has been in place for 26 years.

Sustainability is ingrained in our campus culture. More than 200 faculty and staff members are currently engaged in sustainability research, and 27 academic departments offer 73 undergraduate-level sustainability courses covering topics such as renewable energy systems, emerging environmental challenges and air pollution. Students are environmental ambassadors, participating in clubs and leadership programs like the Summer Institute for Sustainability Leadership. Additionally, UCI is among the top institutions in the nation for green buildings with 13 Platinum and eight Gold LEED-certified structures.

UCI's Sustainability Initiative provides a platform for interdisciplinary, community-engaged sustainability education and research. Through the initiative, UCI experts continually work to develop innovative solutions to environmental issues affecting the local community, nation and world.

These examples are just a handful of the programs, activities and practices hosted on campus that contributed to our selection as America's "Coolest School."

Last year, President Barack Obama touted UCI's efforts by declaring our campus is "ahead of the curve" in this important field. As we move forward, I am confident our campus will continue to build momentum, provide leadership and do even more great work that will impact the lives of generations to come.

Congratulations to everyone who contributed their time, effort and talent to garner this terrific recognition.

Fiat Lux,
Chancellor Howard Gillman