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Alma mater of eminent personalities like Kristen Wiig, Greg Kinnear and Nicole Richie, the University of Arizona is a developmental institute with a futuristic stride, yet staying grounded to its roots. The university has been a pioneer in the fields of planetary sciences, and has also worked closely with NASA on a range of projects. University of Arizona was founded in 1885, before Arizona was even a state, making it the first university in the state. In 1891, the first classes were held in the university's first building, Old Main, with only 35 students. Today, Old Main is still in use, along with many more buildings that have sprouted over the years. Its campus, a canvas of quadrants and rolling, open fields, the university is home to the charismatic and athletic Arizona Wildcats.
Ettore "Ted" de Grazia, Tucson's most famous painter, left his studio/gallery in the Catalina foothills for the public to enjoy as a museum of Southwestern art. The building is made from adobe, which is common for this hot and arid area, and is surrounded by cactus and other desert plants. De Grazia was fascinated by the colors and cultures of the American Southwest, and that is what his art is all about. Gallery tours can be scheduled and take 90 minutes.
At 9,159 feet (2,792 m), Mount Lemmon is the highest point in the Santa Catalina Mountains. The mountain is part of the Coronado National Forest, where giant Saguaro cacti tower and a variety of desert vegetation blooms year around. The mountain is also home to the Mount Lemmon Observatory, which is used by the University of Arizona. Crowned by the dainty town of Summerhaven, this mighty mountain is traversed by a tapestry of windblown roads as well as the serpentine Catalina Highway. A hiking and camping wonderland, Mount Lemmon proudly watches over the enchanting desert landscape that unfolds along its lap. The Seven Cataracts and Windy Pointe Vista are some of the best vantage points on Mount Lemmon, offering incredible panoramas of Tucson.