Year in Review 2022


year in review 2022
Better together
Story By sharleen nelson

The University of Oregon celebrated new academic programs and research breakthroughs, a record-breaking class of incoming students and a sense of togetherness not experienced in years.

What was new in 2022? The year was punctuated by the return of an in-person commencement and resumption of tours for prospective students, transformational initiatives including the launch of The Ballmer Institute for Children's Behavioral Health, and hosting of the World Athletics Championships at Hayward Field.

Researchers at the university explored an array of life-changing discoveries in fields ranging from gene editing and wildfires to underwater critters and monkey teeth.

Research highlights from the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact in 2022 included an effort to develop a concussion biosensor, projects designed to improve the quality of life through the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance, and cornea and vision science among others.

Questions raised by the coronavirus pandemic led to an innovative study indicating that ventilation and humidity were keys to spread of the virus.

Ten UO researchers and scholars received 2022 Faculty Research Awards for their work in digital stewardship, pulmonary hypertension and literature in imperial China.

Drawing from UO expertise in education, prevention science, psychology and more, the university announced a new approach to addressing the children’s behavior health crisis with the creation of The Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health. The UO purchased a 19-acre property in northeast Portland to house the new institute and relocate the other UO Portland campus programs from their current location in the White Stag Block in Old Town. The Portland campus is scheduled to open in fall 2023.

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February, UO experts weighed in, providing helpful insight into the politics and history of the region and the way media covered the ongoing conflict. It was one of dozens of headline-making stories that UO faculty experts helped the world to understand.

The first completely in-person commencement festivities in two years recognized the classes of 2022, ’21 and ’20 at a spectacular UO commencement celebration at Autzen Stadium in June. Keynote speaker and two-time decathlon-winning Olympian Ashton Eaton spoke to graduates about the importance of struggle and perseverance.

For 10 days in July the world watched the magic unfold at Hayward Field as the UO hosted some 1,700 athletes representing 179 countries during the World Athletics Championships Oregon22. One of the largest sporting events in the world, it was the first time it was hosted in the U.S. — and on a college campus. An estimated 1 billion people watched the event on television and online.

After seven years, President Michael Schill announced his departure from UO to serve as president at Northwestern University in Illinois. The Board of Trustees appointed Patrick Phillips as interim president.

Chair Chuck Lillis stepped down after an eight-year service, and the University of Oregon Board of Trustees named Ginevra Ralph new board chair.

Shattering previous records for its annual day of giving, Ducks Give ’22 raised more than $2.3 million dollars for a total of 1,939 gifts supporting internships and programs in athletics, research, the arts and more.

University of Oregon supporters made 2022 the institution’s third highest fundraising year on record, with gifts totaling more than $689 million during the fiscal year ending June 30.

Among the highlights in collegiate athletics, football coach Dan Lanning led the Ducks to a ten-win season and a Holiday Bowl victory in his first year, while women's basketball coach Kelly Graves notched his 200th win, only the second in UO history to reach that mark. Women's volleyball advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament following a 26-6 campaign, earning coach Matt Ulmer a contract extension.

UO alums made the news. Wordle, a simple word game released by UO alumnus Josh Wardle, a 2011 MFA graduate, became a viral hit. Along with her colleagues at the Tampa Bay Times, Rebecca Woolington, who earned a bachelor’s in 2009, shared the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for an expose of a toxic lead smelter plant in Florida. Tina Kotek, a 1990 grad, was elected Oregon’s new governor, among several Ducks who won seats in the November midterm elections. Basketball star and double Duck Sabrina Ionescu (she earned her bachelor's degree in 2019 and master's in 2020), and Zaria Parvez, a 2020 grad in advertising, were named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in the sports and social media categories, respectively.

It was a record-breaking year for new Ducks as the university welcomed the largest number of incoming students in its history. New freshman students this fall represented a growth of 16 percent compared to last year.

The university announced in December that a new School of Computer and Data Sciences within the College of Arts and Sciences will officially open in fall 2023. The UO also launched the Home Flight Scholars Program, which supports the long-term success of Native American students residing in Oregon through financial aid, retention, graduation and professional development.

As the new year dawns, the university looks forward with optimism and purpose to build upon the momentum of 2022 through new programs and initiatives, breakthrough academics and research, and a commitment to diversity and inclusion — on campus, in the community — together.

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