Reflecting on the Past 40 Years and Looking Ahead to the Future

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Glancing around UC Irvine today, it is easy to see why it has gained the nickname ‘Under Construction Indefinitely.’
The campus has undergone a great deal of construction and change within the past 40 years, transforming what was once an area where cows grazed into an abundance of research and instructional facilities. UCI is in what many classify as a rapid-growth phase, characterized by over $1 billion being utilized toward construction of new buildings.
Jennifer Hieger, a spokesperson for the Irvine Company, discussed the relationship between UCI and the city of Irvine.
‘UCI welcomed its first students in 1965,’ Hieger said. ‘Irvine was incorporated as a city in 1971. They have grown in prominence and physical size together.’
Hieger recalled UCI’s history, a story that in itself exemplifies UCI’s 40th anniversary theme of innovation, since the city of
Irvine was actually oriented
around the university campus.
‘The idea of planning and creating a city and a university at once, and having them grow together, was compelling,’ Hieger said.
Perhaps the most prominent new project on campus is the renovation of UCI’s Student Center, a $63 million project.
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Michael Gottfredson explained that there are high expectations for the new Student Center.
‘When the Student Center is complete, I think it will be the center of student activity on campus in the way that the old Student Center couldn’t be,’ Gottfredson said. ‘The old Student Center wasn’t big enough

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