The grand opening of UCI’s groundbreaking eSports arena in September drew 1,500 gaming enthusiasts. Steve Zylius / UCI 

1.1 Billion Reasons to Feel Good About 2016

As UCI ended its 50th anniversary celebration and entered its second half-century, 2016 brought other important milestones: An aggressive new strategic plan. Record amounts of research and philanthropic funding. The most-ever freshman and transfer applications. The first eSports arena at a public college. As always, it was a good year to be an Anteater. Here are the highlights in numbers.

660 million Times larger than the mass of the sun – the measurement of the mass of a black hole determined by UCI astronomer Aaron Barth using the ALMA observatory in Chile
395 million Research funding in dollars (record)
132.5 million Philanthropic support in dollars (record)
230,000 Square feet of Bermuda grass planted on Microsemi Field for the Rams’ preseason training camp
200,000 Times that chemistry graduate student Mya Le Thai cycled a specially coated gold nanowire battery electrode; current lithium-ion batteries can be cycled only around 7,000 times
98,000 Freshman and transfer student applications to UCI (record)
75,000 Square feet in the new Anteater Learning Pavilion
50,000 Hours of community service completed by UCI volunteers as part of the “Fifty for 50” campus challenge
20,521 California-resident Chicano/Latino freshman applicants (most in UC system)
8,000 Pounds of trash recycled each day
6,000 Students fed on opening day of the Anteatery, the food court in the new Mesa Court Towers housing complex
2,000 Peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches made by UCI students for local soup kitchens during Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week
1,500 People – some in elaborate costumes – who mobbed the grand opening of the eSports arena, the first of its kind at a public college
1,200 Pieces of California impressionist art donated by the Irvine family to UCI
935 Beds in the three new, six-story Mesa Court Towers dorms
700 Anteaters who participated in an early voting opportunity at the flagpoles Nov. 1
100 Orange County K-12 educators who will receive training in teaching computer science by the year 2020 through UCI’s CS1C@OC program
7 Consecutive years UCI has made the top 10 of Sierra magazine’s “Cool Schools” (only university to do so)
4.10 Mean grade-point average of new class of California residents admitted to UCI (highest ever)
2 New pedestrian bridges opened, one connecting Mesa Court to the UCI Student Center and the other linking the Division of Continuing Education building with the main campus loop
1 New strategic plan, unveiled in February