No. 1

Bests and First-Evers

The Arizona men’s basketball team, ranked No. 1 for eight consecutive weeks during the 2014 season, has stolen the hearts of Wildcat fans across the country. Off the court, the UA has plenty of other No. 1 distinctions, bests, and first-evers. From leading a mission to Mars to saving lives with a total artificial heart, there’s a long list of reasons why it’s great to be a Wildcat.

No. 1

Entrepreneurs in the Making

The UA’s McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship was named Innovator of the Year in academia at the Governor’s Celebration of Innovation, the Arizona Technology Council’s annual awards gala in partnership with the Arizona Commerce Authority. The celebration honors technology leaders and innovators from across Arizona.

When Spring Fling left campus 15 years ago, things just changed. Oh sure, the rides kept spinning and the cotton candy tasted the same, but to the generations of Wildcats who came of age during its golden era, the experience just wasn’t the same. Now Spring Fling is back on campus for its 40th anniversary. All UA alumni and friends are invited to celebrate as a cherished tradition returns home. With family-friendly events and the same great atmosphere as years past, there are more reasons than ever to attend — but we’ll start with these five. 

A hot dog is wrapped in bacon, cooked on a grill, topped with beans, tomatoes, onions, mayonnaise, mustard, and jalapeño sauce, and served in a Mexican bolillo roll. 

If you have spent any time in Tucson you know that we just described a Sonoran hot dog.

Started in Hermosillo, the capital city of Sonora, Mexico, the Sonoran hot dog enjoys a popularity in Tucson unmatched anywhere else in the United States. It’s estimated that more than 200 hot dog stands are spread across the city.

Founded in 2010, the Wildcat Pride Club is now poised to become one of the UA Alumni Association’s most active groups.

Under the leadership of the club’s president, David Martinez III ’09, the PrideCats are working to engage supporters of LGBT scholarships and programs as well as research conducted by LGBT scholars and on issues addressing the LGBT community.

Walter St. John ’51 ’54 has published Solace (Bull Publishing Company). Solace provides insight into the process of communicating with people who are chronically ill, those limited in mobility, and those confined to a house or care facility and in need of daily help and continuous care. The methods in Solace were developed through extensive research with patients and caregivers.

Oumou Bah is a first-generation American and a second-generation Wildcat. Her parents, Saliou ’91 and Aissatou Bah ’98, fled the country of Guinea, which was ravaged by violence, and settled in Tucson. 

Bah’s parents both worked at fast food restaurants earning minimum wage while raising two small children and attending school. She says their work ethic and determination to achieve the “American Dream” push her to do her best in every aspect of life. 

As the daughter of two Wildcats and a Tucson native, Bah says the UA was the only school for her. 

Alberto Álvaro Ríos ’83 is a familiar face in Tucson and at the UA Poetry Center. Recently honored as Arizona’s inaugural poet laureate, Ríos will offer public readings throughout the year in urban and rural communities statewide, and will pursue a major literary project during his term. 

“This is a profound honor. A small-town border kid from Nogales to poet laureate — this is a good story, an Arizona story,” Ríos says of his two-year appointment.

Danielle Skidmore, a UA School of Art student specializing in 2D studies, uses printmaking to explore connections between the human body and plant life and other natural elements. 

“Nature to me has a natural grace about it, and I think that humans sometimes don’t,” she says. 

Entering her final semester this fall, Skidmore intends to combine public gardening with her artwork. Her goal is to help people have deeper, contemplative moments about the connection between decisions in our daily lives and impacts on the environment. 


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