|University of California, Merced|
Seal of the University of California, Merced
|Motto||Fiat lux (Latin)|
|Motto in English||Let there be light|
|Type||Public research university|
|Endowment||US $24 million|
|Chancellor||Sung Mo Kang (Steve Kang)|
|Provost||Keith E. Alley|
|Location||Merced, California, USA
|Campus||Rural, 910 acres (3.7 km²)|
|Colors||Royal Blue & Gold|
|Affiliations||University of California
The University of California, Merced, commonly referred to as UC Merced or UCM, is the tenth and newest of the University of California campuses. Located in the San Joaquin Valley at Merced, California, UC Merced was the first American research university to be built in the 21st century.
As the San Joaquin Valley was the state's largest and most populous region without a UC campus, on May 19, 1988 the Regents of the University of California voted to begin planning for a campus in the region, in response to increasing enrollment and growth constraints at existing UC campuses. On May 19, 1995, the Regents selected the Merced site, mid-way between Fresno and Modesto, as the location for the University of California's tenth campus. The campus groundbreaking ceremony was held October 25, 2002, and the first day of class was September 6, 2005.
On May 16, 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama gave the commencement address for the university's first full graduating class.
UC Merced is headed by a chancellor. After a nation-wide search, on January 17, 2007, the Regents of the University of California named Sung-Mo (Steve) Kang, dean of the University of California, Santa Cruz, Baskin School of Engineering to be the university's new chancellor. Previously, the position was held by Carol Tomlinson-Keasey from 1999 until she resigned on August 31, 2006. She returned to teaching and research in psychology in 2007. On September 21, 2006, the Regents named Roderic B. Park, a former interim chancellor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, as the acting chancellor for UC Merced. Park remained acting chancellor until Kang took office in early March 2007.
Although UC Merced is located in a rural area associated with agriculture, it emphasizes cutting edge interdisciplinary research grounded in natural science, math, engineering and social sciences. The campus takes advantage of the surrounding environment by investigating issues relating to environmental systems of the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada, and of its youth by having programs in genetic research conducted in state of the art research labs. It also benefits from proximity to Silicon Valley and other major universities. Research in fields like language acquisition and cultural issues is facilitated by the highly diverse ethnic makeup of the Central Valley.
UC Merced has three schools offering 19 undergraduate majors and 18 minors:
The Social Sciences and Management Building is scheduled to open in the spring of 2011, and is intended to house the planned E&J Gallo School of Management. 
For graduate-level study, UC Merced has 9 emphases: applied mathematics, biological engineering and small-scale technologies, computer and information systems, environmental systems, mechanical engineering and applied mechanics, physics and chemistry, quantitative and systems biology, social and cognitive sciences, and world cultures.
The library was the first building to open on campus. During the Fall 2005 semester, while construction on the Classroom and Science/Engineering buildings was still going on, all academic courses were conducted in the library. Its official motto is "Not what other research libraries are, what they will be."
The Library building is named for Leo and Dottie Kolligian. The first floor of the library was dedicated by Ed and Jeanne Kashian. The McFadden-Willis Reading Room is located on the fourth floor and named in honor of the McFadden and Willis children by Christine McFadden. The Library also has a technology classroom dedicated by Doris Gonella in honor of her late husband Louis, The Gonella Discovery Room.
There is a café located on the first floor, and doors roll up in good weather providing an indoor/outdoor feel. Nearly 300 laptop computers are available for checkout. Currently, the electronic holdings are nearly three times the size of the print holdings, consisting of about 20,000 online journals and 540,000 electronic books, in addition to 70,000 print books.
The campus is bounded by Lake Yosemite on one side, and two irrigation canals run through the campus. The buildings will be grouped into "neighborhoods" by academic discipline, much in the manner of the Irvine campus. However, UC Merced will be developed on a grid plan similar to historic Central Valley towns, whereas UC Irvine developed along a wheel-and-spoke plan. The campus master plan was developed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, its initial infrastructure by Arup, and its first buildings were designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Thomas Hacker and Associates, and EHDD Architecture. The library and central power plant have been classified as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold structures in terms of their high energy efficiency and low environmental impact. The campus is located about seven miles (11 km) north of downtown Merced in the middle of a cattle ranch.
Rather than build on 40 acres (16 ha) of protected land east of Lake Yosemite, where endangered fairy shrimp hatch in vernal pools, the school will build on a 230-acre (0.93 km2) parcel of grazing land south of campus, under a revised layout. The fledgling campus will cover a total of 810 acres (3.3 km2), rather than the 910 acres (3.7 km2) proposed in 2000. The new design will impact a total of 81 acres (33 ha) of native wetlands in the region compared to the 121 acres (49 ha) forecast in the 2000 footprint.
Also, the campus was able to be built on an area of land for free, which helped the placement decision.
UC Merced recently established an intercollegiate athletic program in hopes of joining the NCAA in the near future. In addition to having intramural (basketball, baseball, lacrosse, softball, soccer, ultimate frisbee and volleyball). The schedule for the new basketball team consists of a tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada. In result of there not being a league for collegiate men's basketball clubs, the team will compete against many different NAIA schools and NCAA division III schools. Schedule. Roster
On November 13, 2006, the University officially opened its gymnasium. The Joseph Edward Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center, named after the rancher and dairy farmer who donated money for the facility's construction, features a "NCAA-sized basketball court, workout facilities, room for performances, wellness and fitness education and the Rajender Reddy Student Health Center".
At the opening of the facility, UC Merced officials stated their intent to have competitive sports teams, starting with basketball, baseball, men's soccer and aquatics, and women's soccer and volleyball. The campus's goal is to compete at the NCAA Division II level.
Over 1000 students currently live on campus in the Valley and Sierra Terraces, 4.2 miles (6.8 km) away from the city of Merced. The most recent additions to Residence Housing are the Tuolumne (opened Spring 2007) and Mariposa (opened Spring 2008) Halls, which make up the two sections of the Sierra Terraces. Student housing, as well as the dining commons, are closed during winter break. Much of student life in the Residence Halls is run by the Residence Assistants (R.A.s) through various programs and activities.
The campus diversity in 2007–2008 was:
The remaining students were nonresident aliens or declined to specify their ethnicity.
The campus isn't as established as the other UC schools, and the city is not currently active as a college town. However, many students find a short trip to the metropolitan city of Fresno worthwhile for extra entertainment options (or a trip to the San Francisco Bay Area), as choices are limited in the immediate Merced area. The university attempts to engage students in on-campus activities like dances and movie nights. Additionally, many students go to Lake Yosemite which is near the main campus. Students can walk, jog, picnic, barbecue, and swim at the lake. Merced has several artistic venues which host plays, concerts, and art shows. They include The Mainzer Theater, The Partisan, Merced Multicultural Arts Center, and Playhouse Merced. Castle Air Museum is within close driving distance from Merced. Merced is known as the "Gateway to Yosemite" and it is common for students to take day trips to Yosemite National Park where they can hike, snowboard, rock climb, and camp overnight.
Student publications include the official student newspaper The Prodigy, comedy newspaper The Other Child, the College Republicans' publication The Right Side and literary journals The Kumquat and Imagination Dead Imagine.
The student governments at UC Merced comprise the Graduate Student Association (GSA) and the undergraduate body called the Associated Students of UC Merced (ASUCM).
The founding graduate students, who joined the Graduate School of UC Merced in early 2004, initiated the GSA in that year, before the university officially opened its doors to undergraduate students in the fall of 2005. The constitution and by-laws were prepared by them. They were then approved by all the graduate students.
The undergraduate students of UC Merced have recently inititated and established their first student government. The Committee on Constitution and By-Laws was established in fall 2005 and was responsible for writing the constitution for the Associated Students of UC Merced (ASUCM).
Elections for the ratification of the constitution were held in April, 2006. The constitution was approved by a majority of the student body, officially establishing ASUCM, which serves as the official representative and voice of students at UC Merced.
There are approximately 113 student run clubs, including a Merced Pre-Law Society, Business Society, Math Society, Amnesty International, American Medical Student Association, Chinese Student Association, Circle K International, Dance Coalition, Democrats at UC Merced, HHM (Hip Hop Movement), Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Martial Arts Club, Muslim Student Association, NORML, Persian Student Association of UC Merced (PSAUCM), Pilipino American Alliance (PAA), Republicans at UC Merced, South Asian Student Association, The Other Child Rotaract, Rock Climbing, Sports Shooting and Bakery clubs.
There are currently eight Greek Organizations that are on track to be established by Summer 2009. Sigma Chi was the first fraternity on campus, forming an interest group in February of 2008, and was chartered March 14, 2009. Delta Delta Delta was the first sorority on campus, forming an interest group in Spring 2008 and initiating its first pledge class on January 31, 2009.