Friday, December 20, 2013

Another Year of Milestones Winds Down

By Jared Moon

With the sun setting on 2013, it’s only natural to take some time to reflect on all the great things that happened at UNC Charlotte this year.  However, with enrollment currently at more than 26,500 students – and continually growing – and approximately another 4,000 faculty and staff members, there’s no way we could adequately reference every story.  So, with that in mind, here is a snapshot of just a few things we’re proud of that made up 2013 at UNC Charlotte.

Were you ready for some football?  2013 was a milestone year in that intercollegiate football on UNC Charlotte’s campus officially kicked off, and what an exciting season we had.  Things got off to a thrilling start with the highly anticipated first game, which couldn’t have been scripted any better with linebacker Mark Hogan returning an interception 32 yards for a touchdown on only the second play from scrimmage.  That play set the tone for what continued to be an exhilarating season and provided the first of many highlight plays that are sure to come for Charlotte 49er football.  The Niners wrapped up their inaugural season with a 5-6 record.

A major step forward was taken this year in opening the doors of the campus to the greater Charlotte community.  Federal, state and local government officials, along with business and community leaders and the public took part in breaking ground on the LYNX Blue Line extension which will link UNC Charlotte’s main campus with UNC Charlotte Center City as well as businesses, organizations and cultural groups in the heart of Uptown.  The 9.3 mile extension will serve as a proverbial gateway to the University granting the Charlotte community access to a myriad of fun and engaging activities on campus – including Division I athletics, top-notch performing arts and a host of academic engagements.  Operational service is expected to begin in 2017.

Academically, one of the biggest stories was the collaboration between the William States Lee College of Engineering, Belk College of Business and the College of Arts and Architecture for the 2013 Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.  UNC Charlotte was one of 20 academic teams from around the world chosen to participate in the competition which challenged teams to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and visually attractive.  Our team developed UrbanEden, a net-zero energy powered home designed with a strong connection between indoor and outdoor living areas.  Our team garnered two awards during the Decathlon, third place in the juried Engineering Contest and the People’s Choice Award – the public’s vote for its favorite house.

Those are just a few of the wonderful things transpiring at North Carolina’s urban research university.  As we put to bed yet another calendar, we are already looking forward to the many things in store for 2014.  New students, novel research, stronger community bonds, all efforts we foster to underscore the commitment to remain integral to the economic, social and cultural fabric of the Charlotte region.

So from UNC Charlotte, happy holidays and we’ll see you next year!

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Jared Moon is communications coordinator in the Office of Public Relations.

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