When it comes to the best things to do in Orange County, visiting some of the most famous university campuses is definitely on that list! Chances are you are familiar with the famous UC Irvine – but how much do you know about the school and its hidden secrets? Today, we want to share some of the fascinating facts about the home of the anteaters that will have you appreciating the school in a new light! We hope you enjoy reading!
- It is considered to be the best public university in the United States.
- Not only that, but it is the second largest employer in all of Orange County, just behind the Walt Disney Company.
- Its mascot, Peter the Anteater, has undergone at least eight different redesigns since its inception over 40 years ago.
- As more and more students apply to UCI, the acceptance rate has recently fallen below 30%, so if you want a spot in a future class, you’ll have to work for it!
- Sierra magazine ranked the school first in the country for the most environmentally-sustainable schools.
- UCI is also known for its high enrollment of Asian-American students, fostering a welcoming community for what would be considered an underrepresented group at other universities.
- Hot Pockets were invented in 1983 by Paul Merage, the namesake of UCI’s business school, and his brother David Merage. After receiving a $30 million donation from the Orange County philanthropist, UCI named its business school after Paul Merage. He is still alive today at age 79!
- Sherwood, F. Rowland Hall was named after “Sherry” Rowland, a research faculty member. The latter discovered groundbreaking research in the 1970s demonstrating the potentially catastrophic effect of chlorofluorocarbons on the Earth’s ozone layer, which protects against the sun’s powerful ultraviolet radiation.
- Because the campus buildings are arranged in a circle, tunnels connect one “school” to the next. Students sneaked in there from the 1960s to the late 1980s until the “secret” spots were permanently closed for liability reasons.
- During the student riots of the 1960s and 1970s, the mini hill in the center of Aldritch Park (campus) was the site of a proposed guard tower. Due to financial constraints, the tower symbolized was unfortunately never built.
- Beloved movies, including “Planet of the Apes” and “Oceans Eleven,” were filmed nowhere other than UCI.
- As Orange County’s only academic health system, its multifaceted organization is dedicated to discovering new medical frontiers, educating future healers, and delivering the best evidence-based care.
- UCI athletics teams have won 28 national championships in nine sports, and 64 Anteaters have won individual national championships, with 56 competing in the Olympics.
Whether you are a current student at UCI, alumnae, or are considering applying, we hope you had the opportunity to learn something new from this article! Be sure to stay in touch with OCHelper for all the latest things to do in Orange County and other fun facts you aren’t likely to see anywhere else!
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