The Top: 2016-2017 Year in Review (videos included)

Reflect on all the best events, activities, and memories at UCR

Carlos Puma

Welcome to The Top! Occasionally we present a list of UCR staff and faculty favorites — from walking spots to gardens to events.

As students graduate and summer vacation begins, let’s reflect on the top 10 accomplishments during the 2016-2017 academic year, from setting new records, to fundraising campaign symposia, to anniversaries. 

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1. New Student Convocation Welcomes Largest Class of Undergraduates in UCR’s History

The new student convocation took place on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox welcomed “the biggest class in the history of the University of California, Riverside.”

UC Riverside’s new student convocation on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, marked a historical moment. The 2016-2017 school year had more students at UCR than ever before.

“This is the biggest class in the history of the University of California, Riverside,” Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox told the crowd during the 8 a.m. ceremony. UCR started classes on Thursday, Sept. 22 with over 6,000 new Highlanders; the number includes transfer students. That’s up from the 5,305 new undergraduates (including transfers) who arrived in fall 2015.

Read the full story, watch a video and a photo slideshow.

2. KUCR Celebrates 50 Years on Air

This photo featuring two of KUCR’s founders, Bill Farmer (left) and Hans Wynholds (right), was taken by photographic icon Ansel Adams when he visited the station during the UC’s “Fiat Lux” project in 1966. Photo courtesy of KUCR Archive Project

September 2016 marked 50 years since the inaugural broadcast of UC Riverside’s iconic radio station, KUCR 88.3 FM in 1966. To celebrate, UCR alumni gathered at KUCR’s 50th Anniversary Gala and Banquet. More than 4,000 UCR alumni — who’ve gone to become legislators, activists, Pulitzer Prize winners, venture capitalists, producers — have staffed the station. Guest speakers included Max Burgos, Jane Block, U.S. Congressman Mark Takano; California Assemblyman Jose Medina; and numerous others from KUCR’s past, present, and future.

Read the full story. You can also read a feature in the UCR Magazine.

3. UC Riverside Launches Comprehensive Fundraising Campaign

On October 15, 2016, Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox announced the public phase of a $300 million comprehensive fundraising campaign. As of June 25, UCR had already secured $175 million in gifts toward the effort, which will conclude in 2020. The launch of “Living the Promise: The Campaign for UC Riverside” is a historic moment for the campus, which has gained widespread recognition for the research, teaching, and public service of its faculty, students, alumni, staff, and friends.

Read the full story.

4. UCR Recognized as National Leader in African American Graduation Rates

UCR Black Graduation Ceremony 2017 ucr

UCR was recognized as one of the nation’s best institutions in successfully graduating black students relative to their white counterparts, according to a new study released March 2017. While black student graduation rates lag white student graduation rates by about 22 percent nationally, UCR graduates black students at a rate 1.7 percent higher than white students, announced The Education Trust, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization that analyzed data from four-year colleges and universities in its report, “A Look at Black Student Success: Identifying Top- and Bottom-Performing Institutions.”

Read the full story.

5. Philosophy Department Ranks No. 1 In the World


UCR’s Department of Philosophy ranked No. 1 in the world for the frequency with which published papers are cited by other philosophers, according to QS World University Rankings. In addition, the UCR Philosophy department tied for fourth in H-Index citations, a measurement of both productivity and impact of published work of a scientist or scholar. Also tied for fourth in this category are Yale University, University of Edinburgh, University of Pennsylvania, and Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

Read the full story.

6. Groundbreaking for New Multi-Disciplinary Research Building

The official groundbreaking ceremony of the Multidisciplinary Research Building 1, known as MRB1, took place on Nov. 19, 2017. MRB1 will sit on 2.1 acres, located between Aberdeen Drive and North Campus Drive, north of the Materials Science & Engineering (MS&E) Building. This 125,000 square foot edifice is expected to be completed by the end of 2018, and will support up to 56 faculty investigators and their teams doing research on areas such as life sciences, chemical sciences, medicine, and engineering.

Read the full story.

7. UC Riverside Wins Prestigious Award for Student Success in Degree Completion

University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, who is also immediate Past Chair of the APLU Board of Directors, presents the “Project Degree Completion Award” to Paul J. D’Anieri, UCR’s former provost.
courtesy/Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

UC Riverside is one of a handful of comprehensive universities that have achieved near parity in graduation rates across racial, socio-economic, and gender boundaries. That success has now been recognized by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities [APLU], which represents 236 public and land-grant institutions in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. UC Riverside won the 2016 “Project Degree Completion Award” for innovation in boosting graduation rates, the APLU announced at its annual meeting November 2016. UCR’s four-year graduation rates in 2015 reached 53 percent, and six-year graduation rates were 73 percent – up 11 percent and 7 percent, respectively, from four years earlier.

Read the full story.

8. Building Dedication of the Center for Advanced Neuroimaging

Carlos Puma

UCR hosted a building dedication for the new Center for Advanced Neuroimaging (UCR CAN), which is located south of the UCR Psychology Building, on Jan. 30, 2017. It is located near the psychology building on campus. It houses the “3 Tesla Siemens Prisma” functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) machine, a high-end, research-grade system, the first of its kind in the Inland Empire. UCR CAN’s purpose is to allow faculty members to participate in state-of-the-art research, answering diverse questions related to bioengineering, psychology and neuroscience, education and medicine, statistics, and physics, as well as other areas.

Read more about UCR’s Center for Advanced Neuroimaging.

9. School of Medicine’s Graduates Matched to Residency Programs

The inaugural Class of 2017 celebrated Match Day on March 17, 2017. Carrie Rosema

On “Match Day” in March, thousands of medical students across the country learned where they had matched for a residency program. Not all students find matches. But all 40 students of the Class of 2017 in the UC Riverside School of Medicine were matched for a residency program, and many have started their medical careers this summer. Further, there were no unfilled spots in any of the residency training programs beginning this summer for which the UCR School of Medicine holds the accreditation. Thirty-three of the 40 students who matched will be staying in California for their residency; 10 matched in residency programs in inland Southern California.

10. First Class: School of Medicine, and Public Policy Graduate Students

More than 5,700 students graduated and nearly 4,700 students participated in the 63rd Commencement at UCR. The university welcomed thousands of family members and friends for eight ceremonies spanning over five days. The inaugural class of the School of Medicine graduated, as well as the first 25 Public Policy graduate students.

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