Our students are UIC’s true legacy
By Paula Allen-Meares
Dear UIC Class of 2013:
Commencement is a time to reflect on one’s experience at UIC and the people who make it an outstanding institution — our faculty, staff, alumni and you, our students.
At the end of each year, I have the pleasure of attending the Chancellor’s Student Service and Leadership Awards ceremony. I am proud to report that 320 outstanding students were honored this year for their volunteer service to the campus and the community.
As you join the ranks of UIC alumni, you can take great pride in UIC’s achievements.
September marked the 30th anniversary of UIC, when the Medical Center and the Chicago Circle Campus merged to create the University of Illinois at Chicago. The merger created the largest and most comprehensive research, teaching, and learning institution in the Chicago metropolitan region.
In 2012, Times Higher Education ranked UIC 11th on its list of the world’s best universities under 50 years old, with UIC coming in third among all young universities in the United States.
UIC’s student population remains one of the most diverse in the country. Our last survey showed students speaking 46 different languages. This year UIC completed the final phase of its three-year Diversity Strategic Thinking and Planning initiative, which will make the campus a model for diversity excellence nationwide.
UIC continues its upward trajectory in research. The National Science Foundation ranked UIC 56th nationally, with total research and development expenditures of over $380 million. UIC ranked 52nd in federal R&D, with expenditures of almost $249 million.
The College of Nursing is one of five U.S. nursing schools selected for the new Rwanda Human Resources for Health initiative. U.S. News & World Report ranked the College of Business Administration No. 1 among Chicago-area universities with accredited undergraduate business programs. The College of Pharmacy is launching the first drug-discovery center at UIC.
UIC was honored for designing beautiful and innovative spaces to serve students. The IDEA Commons in the Richard J. Daley Library, the library’s most popular gathering place, won two Design Excellence citations from the American Institute of Architects Chicago Chapter.
The Commuter Student Resource Center, which provides commuting students with computers, locker room and showers, kitchen and lounge, won a Gold Excellence Award from the National Association of Student Affairs Professionals.
The College of Business Administration moved into its new home in the $11.7 million renovated Douglas Hall, which received Gold LEED certification for excellence in environmentally sustainable architecture. For its innovative approach to preservation and social justice, the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum received a National Trust for Historic Preservation Award.
The College of Dentistry, celebrating its centennial in 2013, received an $8.2 million gift from the Guy D. and Rebecca E. Brunetti Foundation to modernize clinical facilities and serve more patients.
A new $104 million Advanced Chemical Technology Building will allow science researchers to work collaboratively on drug discovery, battery technology and solar cells.
New York Yankees centerfielder and UIC business graduate Curtis Granderson pledged funding for a new baseball stadium on the UIC campus to serve Flames baseball and Chicago youth.
Engineering graduate Rick Hill and his wife, Loan, committed $6.5 million to the College of Engineering, adding to their previous commitments of $1.5 million.
Graduates, I send you all my good wishes for the future. We look forward to your continuing participation in the life of UIC. Please return to campus often and share your achievements with us. We will always be proud to call you our alumni, our ambassadors; you are UIC’s true legacy.
John Corbally presidential professor