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Building The Future In The Heart Of California




One of UC Merced's earliest traditions dates back to 2005 when the campus welcomed its first set of Bobcats. Dressed in white UC Merced polo shirts that read "Launching the Future", each of the students crossed Scholars Bridge signifying the beginning of their academic journey. Throughout the years the tradition has evolved and the fanfare has grown to now include CATSPOTS, Rufus, Taiko, Drones and more.

At the start of the fall semester, the Student Alumni Association helps welcome all first year and transfer students by presenting them with a "Journey Shirt." With "Let the Journey Begin..." emblazoned across the chest, students can be seen wearing their Bobcat pride throughout their years at UC Merced. The thousands of matching shirts build a sense of community, and helps tell the story of how the local community and campus support one another. Small business sponsor's logos can be found on the back of the shirts -- many of which are owned or operated by UC Merced alumni.

In additon to the Chancellor leading the students acorss Scholars Bridge, each of the student pass through the Beginnings Sculpture located in the Carol Tomlinson-Keasey Quad. Upon graduation, the students are led in cap and gown back through the sculpture signifying their transition from student to alumnus.

Most recently, each of the incoming classes have participated in an aerial photo captured via unmanned aerial vehichle (UAV). Following successful efforts in 2016 and 2017 to form "UCM" and "UC Merced" respectively, the incoming class of 2018 formed the state of California with the heart at the center -- representing UC Merced's slogan of "Building the future in the heart of California."


In only its 15th academic year, the Scholars Bridge Crossing is just one of the many UC Merced traditions passed along from class to class by students and alumni alike. The UC Merced Alumni Association welcomes all Bobcats and believes that every student is a "proud alum from day one." Traditions such as these help educate students and instill that the Journey as a Bobcat goes well beyond your years on campus. Let the Journey Continue!