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UC Merced Grand Opening Set for September 5

August 19, 2005

Top UC Officials to Welcome

Inaugural Class of 1,000 in Special Convocation Ceremony

First New University of California Campus in 40 Years

Is 10th in UC System - and First in San Joaquin Valley

MERCED, CA - The University of California, Merced - the first
new University of California campus since 1965 and the first ever
in California’s sprawling San Joaquin Valley - will officially open
its doors September 5 in a Grand Opening ceremony featuring senior
university officials, members of the UC Board of Regents and the
inaugural class of 1,000 students.

“We couldn’t be more excited,” said Carol Tomlinson-Keasey, who
was named chancellor of UC Merced in 1999 and has spearheaded its
development ever since. “Our faculty is in place, student housing
is ready, essential services are rapidly coming on line and the
welcome mat is out. This is a very special moment for everyone
involved in bringing this new campus to life.”

UC Merced is the 10th campus in the University of California
system, recognized globally as one of the world’s leading public
university systems. Based on projections of rapid population growth
throughout the state, UC Regents first proposed adding a 10th
campus to the system in 1988. Merced was chosen as the site in 1995
after a rigorous screening process that included more than 80
different locations.

“This new campus will allow California to fulfill the promise of
access to qualified students from all over the state, as our first
class clearly illustrates,” said Tomlinson-Keasey. “A thriving
research university will create a new level of opportunity for
UC-eligible men and women for generations to come while stimulating
economic growth, creating jobs, spawning new industries and
addressing tough societal challenges.”

UC Merced’s first 1,000 students come from as far north as
California’s most northern county of Del Norte, as far south as San
Diego, as far east as the Sierra Nevada and as far west as the
Pacific Coast, according to university admission records. About
half are the first in their families to attend college. Nearly 25
percent report annual family incomes below $30,000, and
approximately one-third are from underrepresented ethnic or racial
minority groups. All met the University of California’s rigorous
admission requirements.

“We’re delighted with the academic credentials, diverse
backgrounds and pioneering spirit of our inaugural class,” said
Tomlinson-Keasey. “These young scholars, including 38 graduate
students, will play a major role in shaping the campus lifestyle,
founding student organizations and defining the character of a
major research university. They’ll work closely with our
world-class faculty and benefit from academic programming that is
focused on real-world challenges of the 21st century. We’re
thrilled to have this chance to deliver UC-quality academics in a
new and welcoming environment that will inspire and produce the
leaders of tomorrow.”

UC Merced will grow rapidly over the coming years, with total
enrollment expected to reach about 5,000 by 2010 and top out at
25,000 in 2035. The university initially will offer undergraduate
degrees in nine different majors from three disciplines -
engineering; natural sciences; and social sciences, humanities and
the arts. Graduate degrees in these same fields also are available.
Degree offerings will expand rapidly as the university grows.

Opening ceremonies on September 5 will begin at 10 a.m. at the
permanent campus site just south of Lake Yosemite, five miles from
downtown Merced. The invitation-only event will include comments
from Gerald Parsky, chair of the UC Board of Regents, UC President
Robert Dynes and Chancellor Tomlinson-Keasey. Keynote remarks will
be delivered by Merced native Charles Ogletree, professor and
director of Harvard Law School’s Charles Hamilton Houston Institute
for Race and Justice.

“Reaching this milestone required the commitment of multiple
governors, UC presidents, and state and federal legislators,” said
Tomlinson-Keasey. “Celebrating this moment will be past Governors
George Deukmejian and Gray Davis, past Presidents Richard Atkinson
and David Gardner, as well as numerous elected officials who have
supported us throughout the years.”

The campus will open to the public in the afternoon as of 1 p.m.
that day.

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