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University of Arizona

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Wikipedia

The University of Arizona (also referred to as U of A, UA, or Arizona) is a public research university located in Tucson, Arizona, United States. UA was the first university in the state of Arizona, founded in 1885 (twenty-seven years before the Arizona Territory achieved statehood). The university includes the Banner-University Medical Center Tucson, which operates a separate 4-year M.D. college in downtown Phoenix. As of Fall 2014, total enrollment was 42,236 students. The University of Arizona is governed by the Arizona Board of Regents. The mission of the University of Arizona is, "To improve the prospects and enrich the lives of the people of Arizona and the world through education, research, creative expression, and community and business partnerships." Arizona is one of the elected members of the Association of American Universities (an organization of North America's premier research institutions) and is the only representative from the state of Arizona to this group.

Known as the Arizona Wildcats (often shortened to "Cats"), the athletic teams are members of the Pacific-12 Conference in the NCAA. UA athletes have won national titles in several sports, most notably men's basketball, baseball, and softball. The official colors of the university and its athletic teams are Cardinal Red and Navy Blue.

After the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, the push for a University in Arizona grew. The University of Arizona was approved by the Arizona Territory's "Thieving Thirteenth" Legislature in 1885, who also selected the city of Tucson to receive the appropriation to build the university. Tucson had hoped to receive the appropriation for the territory's mental hospital, which carried a $100,000 allocation instead of the $25,000 allotted to the territory's only university (Arizona State University was also chartered in 1885, but at the time it was created as Arizona's normal school, and not a university). Tucson's contingent of legislators was delayed in reaching Prescott due to flooding on the Salt River and by the time they arrived back-room deals allocating the most desirable territorial institutions had already been made. Tucson was largely disappointed at receiving what was viewed as an inferior prize. With no parties willing to step forth and provide land for the new institution, the citizens of Tucson prepared to return the money to the Territorial Legislature until two gamblers and a saloon keeper decided to donate the land necessary to build the school. Construction of Old Main, the first building on Campus, began on October 27, 1887, and classes met for the first time in 1891 with 32 students in Old Main, which is still in use to this day. Because there were no high schools in Arizona Territory, the University maintained separate preparatory classes for the first 23 years of operation.