In 1944, after the passage of the GI bill during World War 2, a local group of citrus growers and civic leaders from near Box Spring Mountains lobbied aggressively for a liberal arts college next to the CES. The bill was signed in 1949, allocating $2 million for the initial construction of the campus. The college opened on February 14, 1954. The opening of the college had 65 faculty and 127 students, averaging less than 2 students per faculty. By 1958, UCR's enrolment had exceeded 1000 students. Foreseeing the explosive growth in student population, the campus was expanded from a capacity of 1500 students to a capacity of 5000 students. In the 1990s, UCR experienced another surge of enrollment applications. The 1997 implementation of proposition 209, while reducing the ethnic diversity of other universities, increased it in UCR. With UCR scheduled for dramatic population growth, efforts have been made to increase its popular and academic recognition.
The University of California, Riverside (UCR or UC Riverside), is a public research university in Riverside, California. The main campus of the University of California, Riverside sits at an elevation of 1100 ft to 1450 ft near the Box Springs Mountains. The main campus is divided into two by the Route 60 freeway. The east campus occupies 600 acres of land and has the core academic and service buildings. The west campus occupies 511 acres, and approximately 216 acres of that have been developed. These include buildings like the University Extension and the USDA Germplasm Repo. Another campus is situated at Palm Desert. It is called the Richard J. Heckmann International Center for Entrepreneurial Management. UCR is governed by a Board of Regents and administered by a president. Admission to UC Riverside is rated as "more selective" by U.S. News & World Report. For Fall 2018, 50.6% of the received applications were accepted. UCR also has a big presence in collegiate sports. UCR's varsity teams compete in the Big West Conference of NCAA Division I. Programs include men's and women's soccer, cross country, basketball, track and field, baseball, softball, tennis, golf and women's volleyball.