When W. James Burns ’92 switched his major to history as an undergrad at the University of Arizona, his adviser wanted to know what the young man planned to do after college.  

Burns wasn’t sure. The adviser, history professor Jack Marietta, now retired, pointed to a chart on his office wall that he kept for just such occasions.  

“It was titled, ‘Careers in History,’” recalls Burns. “I read down the list and saw ‘museum curator.’ I liked that idea.”

So Marietta dispatched Burns to the Arizona State Museum across the grassy UA Mall from the history department.  

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear,” goes the Zen proverb, and few students ever were more ready than Steve Kerr to learn about leadership.

For 30 years, he took notes in a high-level course the likes of which few others have been privileged to take. The teachers kept appearing, and they were Basketball Hall of Fame faculty: Lute Olson, Lenny Wilkens, Phil Jackson, Gregg Popovich.

It is a rare and wondrous occurrence in sports when a coach shares his vision and passion so clearly that everyone around him — his fellow coaches, the players, and even the fans — become one, joined in the quest. So it is with Rich Rodriguez and the Arizona Wildcat football team. 

For the fifth year in a row, the University of Arizona Foundation and the UA Alumni Association have teamed up to present 10 by 10, highlighting 10 UA alumni who graduated 10 years ago and who have demonstrated a commitment to giving back. Join us as we get to know the 2015 10 by 10 honorees and what makes them tick. 

Honorees are chosen because of their history of philanthropic giving and engagement. As a whole, they represent a broad range of experiences and identities. 

The Golden State Warriors won their first NBA championship in four decades in June, a victory distinctly influenced by Arizona basketball.

With head coach Steve Kerr ’87 and assistant coaches Luke Walton ’02 and Bruce Fraser ’88 orchestrating things from the bench, Andre Iguodala proved to be one of the series’ pivotal players with his defensive effort on Cavaliers forward LeBron James and his clutch baskets on the offensive end of the floor.

The Pac-12 is justifiably known as the Conference of Champions. That its teams excel in national competition is undeniable; what is sometimes overlooked is the gauntlet that Pac-12 teams have to run in conference play just to reach the national stage. 

During the week of the Pac-12 championships, the top three women’s golf teams in the country (not the conference, the country) were Washington, UCLA, and USC. Yet Arizona won the hotly contested Pac-12 championship (with upstart Oregon finishing second), and then, a few weeks later, Stanford won the national championship.

Egg-Frying Contest 

If an egg can cook on city sidewalks midday in Tucson, we agree that’s hot. In Oatman, an Arizona town near Laughlin, Nevada, sidewalk egg frying is a 25-year-old Fourth of July tradition. A few contest rules apply — eggs must be fried using solar power and the use of mirrors, magnifying glasses, aluminum foil, and other creative aids are allowed. 

We gave egg frying a try at the UA Alumni Association. The result: a runny egg not fit for eating. 

A new take on Arizona’s traditional five C’s: saving the cotton plant with bio engineering, using our greatest climate resource in solar energy production, changing the copper industry with state-of-the art technology, and providing life blood to cattle ranchers by opening a veterinary program. Citrus production in Arizona has declined, but Yuma has become the No. 1 producer of lettuce for the United States during the winter months.

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