October 1, 2015

Embracing Our Brilliant Future

To the Anteater Community:

This Sunday is a special day: our 50th anniversary.

On October 4, 1965, UCI welcomed its new students to the very first day of classes. On that bright fall day, years of planning and preparation ended and UCI's magnificent journey began. Thanks to 1,589 pioneering students, 119 faculty, and 241 staff members, a handful of buildings on an unfinished campus became a university.

Our founders were men and women of vision, hope, and ambition. They were committed to achieving excellence through innovation, taking inspiration from our frontier landscape to pursue the frontiers of knowledge. They believed that education and discovery were the world's most powerful forces for human enlightenment and social progress. The civic leaders who made our founding possible knew that a strong research university would ensure the vitality of the region.

As we embrace our future, we take ongoing inspiration from our bright past. Our first half-century has been extraordinary, but I'm even more excited about the years to come. We are poised to take our place among the most recognized, sophisticated global leaders while maintaining the distinctive character that made UCI the premier young university.

The Office of the Provost will soon share with you our plans for the future, calling for more life-enhancing discoveries supported by campus and faculty expansion; elevating the student experience with an eye toward predominant “first choice” status; serving as the cornerstone of our local, regional, national, and international communities through greater outreach and engagement; and controlling our destiny through increased funding and infrastructure.

We look forward to our next 50 years with optimism and ambition, knowing that the work we do – to educate, understand, explore, discover, create, cure, innovate, inspire, enrich – improves people's lives and allows us to address and resolve the most serious challenges facing our community and our world.

Happy 50th anniversary, UCI! Here's to our brilliant future!

Fiat Lux, 

Chancellor Howard Gillman

P.S. Please join me in celebrating our anniversary at Saturday's Festival of Discovery, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Aldrich Park, where you can see, touch and experience our research in action through family-friendly interactive attractions, music and food. Visit the Festival of Discovery website for more information.