At a dinner recognizing Arizona Assurance Scholars a few years back, the room got quiet when a young student stood up to speak. 

Amer Taleb ’15 had thought he wouldn’t be able to go to the University of Arizona, he told the gathering. His family couldn’t afford it. Yet the aspiring journalist did attend — with the help of the Arizona Assurance Scholarship. 

It’s nearly impossible to imagine the University of Arizona without Wilbur and Wilma Wildcat, “A” Mountain and the “Bear Down” rallying cry. If not for the 101 years of Greek life that have helped to shape the University and its traditions and symbols, the UA might be a different place altogether. 

The new Geraldo Rivera Greek Heritage Park recognizes the contributions of 50,000 alumni from 90 Greek organizations and provides a dedicated venue for fraternity and sorority activities as well as outdoor space for everyone to enjoy.

As Arizona Football fans drive toward the stadium on Enke Drive for home games this fall, they will notice a new 15,000-square-foot building south of McKale Center, near completion in October.  

The new C.A.T.S. Academic Center, dedicated to providing academic and life skills for student-athletes, was made possible by several donations, including a $2.5 million leadership gift from University of Arizona alumni Andrew and Kirsten Braccia and a $1 million gift from David Lapan and his family. 

It is a promise for the future — a hub for finding dream jobs — the Karl and Stevie Eller Professional Development Center. 

Students will meet there with recruiters from companies like Microsoft, Macy’s and Goldman Sachs. Alumni will mentor students on how to succeed in a highly competitive job market. Career coaches will help students discover their strengths and align with career goals.   

Physics student Alexander Knowles, now a senior, started his job as a planetarium operator at the most eventful time in Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium history. It was 2014, and Hector Vector the Star Projector was going into retirement. 

Hector had illuminated the theater dome unfailingly since the planetarium’s opening in 1975. But changes in technology had created an ever-widening gap between the University of Arizona’s achievement in space sciences and its ability to share the wonders of exploration.

Kara Aquilano Forney’s connection to the University of Arizona began when she was just 8 months old. 

That was when her father, Nicholas Aquilano, earned a UCLA doctorate and took a teaching position at the UA’s Eller College of Management. 

Aquilano Forney grew up attending UA holiday parties and football and basketball games with family and enjoying Spring Fling with friends. When the time came for her to choose a college, the UA was, for her, the natural choice. 

It is almost midnight when a flight from the East Coast finally brings me back to Tucson. A familiar half-conscious routine follows — shuffling off the plane, rushing through the airport, finding my car and starting the drive home. Then, while I am waiting for a traffic light at the intersection of Tucson and Valencia, an unmistakable sight jolts me back to reality. 

The rise of social media has armed consumers with new powers to complain — and prompted companies to re-examine how they respond to grievances aired publicly on platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. Companies that ignore those gripes, or just get defensive, do so at their own peril. 

Love of southern Arizona’s landscapes and a desire to preserve them for future generations brought Diana Freshwater ’83 and Liz Petterson ’95 together at the nonprofit Arizona Land and Water Trust.

The trust raises funds to protect large areas with water and high biodiversity — often farms and ranches — from development.

“Many areas are adjacent to already-protected public lands,” says Freshwater, who was the trust’s executive director from 1999 to 2011 and now is president of its board.

In February, the UA’s James E. Rogers College of Law became the nation’s first law school to accept either the GRE exam or the LSAT from any applicant. The move, which came after the college participated in a study showing the GRE is as good a predictor of law school success as the LSAT, garnered national attention throughout the legal profession and coverage in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

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