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.

Creating intelligent robots has proved far more challenging than Star Trek may have led us to believe. But the UA’s robotics team has found success by looking for inspiration from a surprising source — smart, talented insects. 

Yes, insects. Houseflies, dragonflies, even a moth, which can drive a vehicle nicknamed the Mothbot.

The UA is at the forefront of a branch of neuroscience that could soon lead to a flying robot that can smell, hear, touch, and, most important, see with the acute compound eyes of the insect world.

The early 1970s was a time of precipitous change: the Beatles were breaking up; Vietnam was exploding; four students were killed during a protest at Kent State, another nine wounded by Ohio National Guardsmen; the Watergate scandal emerged; and the lead singer of the Doors, Jim Morrison, was found dead in a bathtub in Paris. Bye-bye, Miss American Pie.

In April 2014, the University of Arizona publicly launched Arizona NOW, the largest and most ambitious fundraising campaign in the UA’s history with the goal of raising $1.5 billion in support of students and innovative thinkers and to further the UA’s reach. Everyone anticipated success, but no one imagined that one year later we would already have raised nearly $1.2 billion. 


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