April 2018 News and Notes
The Irvine-based Pacific Symphony raised more than $1.5 million for music and education programs at its annual gala, held last month at Hotel Irvine. The gathering drew 400 guests, many dressed to fit the 1940s New York City theme of the event, dubbed “On the Town,” to celebrate the Symphony’s first-ever performance at Carnegie Hall on April 21. Those familiar with Hotel Irvine might not have recognized the place, as the entire ballroom side of the lobby was set aside for the gala and decorated with exquisite period details that included figure skater performing on a sheet of ice set outside what would normally be a business-centric conference room. The transformation continued inside the ballroom, where the site of many conferences had magically become a music hall, with American Idol’s Katharine McPhee singing Judy Garland favorites, among other performances.
Among the many in attendance with Irvine ties were Charlie and Ling Zhang, founders of Irvine-based OC Music & Dance, Lucy Dunn, president and CEO of the Orange County Business Council, and Shady Canyon philanthropists David and Michelle Horowitz, who graced the stage with her performance of Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C Sharp Minor. The evening’s honorees were Sheila and Jim Peterson, CEO and chairman of Microsemi, who received the “Corporate and Community Leadership” award, and Mary and Phil Lyons, who were named “Philanthropists of the Year.”
Wagner on water
Irvine Mayor Donald Wagner is joining other mayors across the country in asking residents to make a commitment to conserve water by taking part in the 7th annual Wyland Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation. Last year, residents from some 4,100 cities across the U.S. took part in the event, pledging to reduce their annual consumption of fresh water by 1.9 billion gallons. Laguna Beach was one of the five winners with the most pledges.
“This annual challenge to conserve water, sponsored by the Wyland Foundation here in Irvine, reminds us of our precious resource,” Wagner said in a city release. “I am hopeful that what is a short-term challenge for our residents becomes a long-term practice of conservation.”
The national Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation was created to reward residents for positive conservation behavior, provide immediate feedback with real-time city-by-city results that can be measured against neighboring cities, set goals to promote positive changes in consumer behavior and put a spotlight on public role models to encourage behavioral change. Residents from the winning cities who take the online pledge will be entered to win hundreds of environmentally friendly prizes. To agree to make a difference in conserving water on behalf of Irvine, go to mywaterpledge.com.
With the release of U.S. News & World Report’s graduate school rankings, UCI continues to prove it’s one of the best universities in the country. UCI’s Ph.D. program in Criminology, Law and Society placed third among all schools in the U.S., while UCI Law ranks seventh among public universities and 21st overall, up seven spots from last year. Overall, seven fields of advanced study ranked in the top 10 among public universities, including three in chemistry, with 16 more in the top 25.
“UCI has established itself as a world-class public research university in a wide range of fields,” said Frances Leslie, vice provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate Division. “These rankings confirm that our campus offers challenging and intellectually rich opportunities for students of all backgrounds to achieve academic and professional excellence.”
Other top 25 UCI schools and programs include: Ayala School of Biology, 12th among publics, 33rd overall; Education, 14th among publics, 24th overall; Computer science, 15th among publics, 30th overall; Physics, 16th among publics, 28th overall; Samueli School of Engineering, 21st among publics, 35th overall; Merage School of Business, 21st among publics, 42nd overall; Mathematics, 21st among publics, 39th overall; School of Medicine research, 22nd among publics, 46th overall.
U.S. News did not include arts, social sciences or humanities programs in this year’s rankings.