UC Irvine Historical Highlights


UCI Through the Years


  • UC Regents decide to expand UC system, including possible Orange County site


  • William Pereira engaged to research O.C. sites


  • Irvine site selected


  • Gift of land from the Irvine Company


  • Regents name new campus University of California, Irvine


  • Daniel Aldrich appointed first chancellor


  • President Lyndon Johnson attends dedication


  • Campus opens with founding academic divisions of biological sciences, engineering, fine arts, humanities, physical sciences and social science, and graduate school in administration (later management)
  • Anteater chosen as mascot


  • Ansel Adams photographs new campus
  • California College of Medicine approved as UCI College of Medicine


  • Department of Information & Computer Sciences founded, later to become UC’s first ICS school
  • UCI Alumni Association formed
  • Creative writing M.F.A. program, which today has three Pulitzer Prize-winning alumni, launched


  • Program in Social Ecology founded, later to become school


  • Office of Teacher Education founded, later to become Department of Education


  • Thesaurus Linguae Graecae, world’s most comprehensive digital library of Greek literature, launched


  • F. Sherwood Rowland identifies that CFCs destroy the Earth’s protective ozone layer


  • Campus assigned own ZIP code


  • O.C. Medical Center and Community Clinic of O.C. acquired, become UCI Medical Center


  • Steve Scott ’78 sets American record in mile run


  • First housing community (Las Lomas) opens in area now known as University Hills


  • Aldrich retires, receives first UCI Medal; campus park named in his honor
  • Jack Peltason appointed second chancellor


  • Frederick Reines receives National Medal of Science


  • Beckman Laser Institute opens
  • Patrick Hanratty, Ph.D. ’77 donates a copy of Shakespeare’s 1623 “First Folio” to UCI Libraries


  • Donald Bren Endowment (then called Bren Fellows Program) created


  • Laurel Wilkening appointed third chancellor


  • Science Library opens


  • Frederick Reines and F. Sherwood Rowland receive Nobel prizes


  • University Research Park opens
  • Campus named to Association of American Universities


  • Chao Family Cancer Center designated “comprehensive” by National Cancer Institute


  • Ralph Cicerone appointed fourth chancellor


  • Engineering school named for Henry Samueli


  • Arts school named for Clair Trevor
  • California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology established


  • Francisco Ayala receives National Medal of Science
  • Frank LaFerla develops the first triple transgenic mouse that exhibits two major symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease


  • Information and computer science school named for Donald Bren
  • Irwin Rose receives Nobel Prize
  • Hans Keirstead develops human embryonic stem cell therapy that restores greater mobility in animal models with spinal cord injury


  • Duncan Luce receives National Medal of Science
  • Business school named for Paul Merage
  • Michael Drake appointed fifth chancellor
  • UC’s first online degrees awarded by UCI in criminology, law and society
  • Arts Plaza designed by Maya Lin dedicated


  • Law school approved by UC Regents
  • Nursing science, pharmaceutical science programs launched
  • Two students receive inaugural XIV Dalai Lama Endowed Scholarship
  • Sue and Bill Gross donate $10 million to stem cell research at UCI
  • Elizabeth Parker, Larry Cahill and James L. McGaugh identify new form of superior memory syndrome (highly superior autobiographical memory)
  • Anthony James helps genetically engineer new tool against transmission of dengue fever virus
  • Frank LaFerla-led-team identifies first compound to block progression of Alzheimer’s disease


  • School of Law receives $20 million gift from Donald Bren
  • Men’s volleyball wins NCAA championship for first time
  • Baseball competes in College World Series
  • Orange County’s first hydrogen fueling station opens at UCI


  • Campus launches $1 billion Shaping the Future campaign
  • New University Hospital completes construction four months early
  • UCI Olympians bring home gold, silver
  • UCI scientists play key role in Large Hadron Collider
  • UCI choirs win “choral Olympics”
  • Private giving tops $130 million, setting annual record


  • $21 million gift names UC Irvine Douglas Hospital
  • Campus introduces ZotWheels, UC’s first automated bike-sharing program
  • Men’s volleyball captures second NCAA championship


  • Megan Braun ’10 first UCI alum to earn Rhodes scholarship
  • UCI Health first in the West to use robotic-assisted surgery for thyroid tumor
  • Sue & Bill Gross Hall: A CIRM Institute opens as state’s first built from the ground up, designed specifically for stem cell research
  • Evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala wins Templeton Prize


  • UCI’s Humanities Gateway, Gross Hall earn top ranking for sustainable construction
  • UCI engineers world’s first sewage-powered hydrogen fuel station
  • UCI Health doctors perform West Coast’s first robotic surgery on spine


  • Men’s volleyball wins third NCAA championship in six years
  • UC regents approve UCI School of Education
  • UCI Health surgeons implant tiny eye telescope in patients with macular degeneration
  • Times Higher Education names UCI world’s best comprehensive university under 50 years old


  • New Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center creates a “living laboratory” for sustainability research
  • Men’s volleyball wins fourth NCAA championship in seven years
  • A gleaming new building for Gavin Herbert Eye Institute opens on campus
  • UCI is host university of the inaugural XPO clean energy exposition, which took place alongside the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 at Orange County Great Park


  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognizes UCI with 2014 Climate Leadership Award
  • Biological sciences school named for Francisco J. Ayala
  • Institute for Innovation established to expedite technology transfer
  • President Barack Obama speaks at commencement in Angel Stadium of Anaheim, kicking off 50th anniversary celebration
  • Baseball competes in College World Series for second time
  • Howard Gillman appointed sixth chancellor
  • UCI and three other Orange County campuses named Team Orange, an official U.S. Dept. of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 team


  • UCI men’s basketball team wins Big West conference title for the first time and goes to  the NCAA March Madness tournament
  • Peter the Anteater voted National Champion Mascot on Mashable, makes an appearance on “Conan”
  • The XIV Dalai Lama announces he will celebrate his 80th birthday during UCI’s 50th anniversary with his campus colleagues July 5-7