Early in the 2009-2010 school year, a Yale graduate student disappeared just days before her wedding. Annie Le, a 24-year-old doctoral student at Yale Medical School, was seen entering 10 Amistad Street, a campus research facility around 10 a.m. on September 8.
Tragically, her body was found two days later.
The young, talented student was allegedly murdered in a fit of angry workplace violence. The incident consumed and rattled Yale University and captivated the nation. It was a horrific way to start the college year, and it was the first of several significant news events that shaped the school year on campuses across the country.
[Slide Show: 9 Events That Shaped the 2009-2010 College Year]
In the following months, the University of California system announced its plans to increase student fees by 32 percent. Amid budget problems, the state also started pushing unpaid furloughs on faculty and staff at public colleges and universities and slashing budgets. The major reductions prompted scores of protests across the state and country. Students occupied several campus buildingsand took the fight to Sacramento. Other states struggled with similar funding problems in higher education, including Illinois and Nevada.
But there was some good news during the 2009-2010 school year. Duke University won its fourth NCAA basketball championship and University of Alabama won its first football title in 17 years. The NCAA also announced plans to expand its men's basketball tournament to include 68 teams. A student newspaper, Abilene Christian University's the Optimist, paved the way for other student publications, becoming the first college media outlet to have an iPad application. And colleges across the country joined the fight for a cleaner environment and more sustainability on campus.
[Read more: Colleges Go Green]
All in all, it was a busy, memorable school year for colleges. Here are nine major events that shaped the 2009-2010 college year.