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Re: [NUTS] Just gotta brag...

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  • McNabb5@aol.com
    Whoo hoo!!! What an awesome kid you have! GREAT story, the pic is so cute you should blow it up and frame it ;) Hope you are both having/had fun moving in
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 5, 2005
       Whoo hoo!!!  What an awesome kid you have! GREAT story, the pic is so cute you should blow it up and frame it ;) Hope you are both having/had fun moving in down there! So now we know what your house looks like (pretty) and I didnt even know you had a cat!!  (also pretty) COOL - cinde
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Jenn Oates <wildoates56@...>
      To: RCGDS <RCGS-list@...>; nuts_@yahoogroups.com; GBESGeocachers@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Mon, 5 Sep 2005 16:38:34 -0700
      Subject: [NUTS] Just gotta brag...

      This is my kid, thank you very much...

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      Emily McKeighen, 26, will be one of the first students at UC Merced. She said she could have gone to Riverside but loves the idea of a university with traditions she helped start.

      Sacramento Bee/Anne Chadwick Williams

      Newest UC ready for its debut
      After nearly 20 years and $425 million, the Merced campus has 1,000 students.
      By Lesli A. Maxwell -- Bee Staff Writer
      Published 2:15 am PDT Monday, September 5, 2005
      Story appeared on Page A1 of The Bee

      MERCED - While Emily McKeighen shopped at an Elk Grove Target store for bed sheets in her college's colors, workers more than 100 miles away carried dozens of black desk chairs into the brand-new dorms where she will live.
      While McKeighen stocked up on bottled water, cooks in a gleaming university cafeteria tried out recipes they promise will defy most people's notion of "dorm food."
      And while McKeighen, 26, packed up boxes of clothes, towels and other necessities for life away from Sacramento, professors, working in temporary offices, put the finishing touches on their fall semester course outlines.

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       The debut of the University of California, Merced - the nation's first public research university to be built from scratch in a generation and the first new UC campus since Santa Cruz and Irvine opened 40 years ago - has arrived.
      After nearly two decades of wrangling over where to build a 10th UC campus, how to pay for it and whether a major research institution could thrive in the state's poorest region, 1,000 students begin classes at UC Merced on Tuesday.
      "I can't describe how excited I am," says McKeighen, who, clad in a UC Merced T-shirt and matching baseball hat, hints clearly at her enthusiasm.
      McKeighen is among nearly 600 freshmen and upper-division transfers who moved into the campus' apartment-style living quarters Saturday.
      "I could have gone to UC Riverside, but this is going to be so cool and so unique. I am imagining the university 100 years from now when students will have traditions that I helped start."
      Six days before classes were set to begin, construction was frenzied at the campus, which rises from bronze-colored rangeland at the foot of the Sierra Nevada.
      The first two academic buildings - science and engineering and a classroom building - won't be ready until later this year, so most classes will be held in the two finished wings of the four-story library.
      Dozens of last-minute finishes to the library classrooms were under way - installing ceiling tiles, checking electrical wiring and hanging sun shades.
      Around the two-story residence halls (each is named for a Central Valley county), workers swept stairs and wiped the latest layer of dust to collect from constant construction.
      A row of palm trees - fronds still bundled - had just been put in the ground along Scholar's Lane, the front door to the 2,000-acre campus. Around Merced, a farming city that straddles Highway 99 between Modesto and Fresno, signs welcoming students and offering discounts were going up.
      "I never questioned whether it would happen because it absolutely had to happen," says Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey, who began championing the new campus in 1997, when UC's then-President Richard Atkinson named her to a systemwide vice provost's job. "But there were many times that I wondered when it would happen."
      It has taken nearly two decades and $425 million in state dollars to arrive at this moment.
      The push for a new University of California to serve the Central Valley began in the 1980s and, at times, it seemed politics, budget battles, environmental lawsuits and a chorus of critics might kill the project.
      Today, Tomlinson-Keasey will host UC Merced's inaugural class and more than 3,000 dignitaries and guests in a gala event. Charles Ogletree, a Merced native and Harvard University law professor, will deliver the keynote speech.
      But it's Tuesday, when classes start, that marks UC Merced's true beginning.
      Jeffrey Yoshimi, a 35-year-old professor who moved from UC San Diego, is UC Merced's philosophy department. He will teach 80 students - most of them freshmen - introduction to philosophy.
      "I'll be pulling out all the big guns," Yoshimi says. "What's the meaning of life? Does God exist? Can a computer have a conscience? This is a UC. ... It will be a serious academic environment from Day One."
      But plenty of attention has been paid to the nonacademic, too - critical for an upstart university in a not-yet-mature college town.
      Recent UC graduates like 22-year-old Tiffany Williams and 20-year-old Jeffrey Chang are among more than a dozen young people hired to be UC Merced's de facto upperclassmen. They will be resident advisers, social guides and student affairs officials developing the campus' first student clubs and organizations.
      Using $15-a-day stipends, these "student fellows" have been mapping the off-campus scene in the weeks leading up to opening day.
      "We've been going downtown to try restaurants, coffee shops, nightlife for those who'll be over 21, you name it," says Williams, a Merced native who graduated in June from UC Irvine.
      Chang, also a UC Irvine graduate, says the founding students expect that many features of established college campuses will be missing in the early years of UC Merced.
      Tomlinson-Keasey, keenly aware of what UC Merced won't be able to offer in its first few years, has been gazing at early photos of all the UC campuses and reading histories on their early struggles.
      Pictures of Berkeley's North and South halls, with nothing else in sight, and an image of UCLA's first few buildings with no sign of the vibrant Westwood community that surrounds the campus now, have been particularly inspiring.
      "It shows you what the possibilities are despite very, very humble beginnings," she says. "Everyone expects us to open and immediately be Berkeley. ... We can't do that right away. They've got 131 years on us. But we'll get there soon."

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