(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Aug. 29, 2019) More than 900 new California Lutheran University students will descend on a campus humming with construction this weekend.
About 650 first-year students and nearly 300 new transfer students are scheduled to arrive on the Thousand Oaks campus Saturday for the four-day New Student Orientation.
More than half of the new first-year and transfer students are of ethnicities that are traditionally underrepresented on college campuses. There are about 30 new international students representing 20 countries, including the first students from Tanzania and Rwanda in more than a decade. Total undergraduate enrollment is expected to be more than 3,000 students.
Traditional undergraduate students begin classes Wednesday, and Bachelor’s Degree for Professionals program students start Tuesday. Most of the roughly 1,220 graduate students, including those at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, begin classes Tuesday.
On the main campus in Thousand Oaks, construction continues on the new Swenson Science Building with completion targeted for May. The transformation of the campus’ Centrum Café into a Habit Burger Grill started this summer, and the restaurant is scheduled to open by spring semester. Crews expect to finish construction of the new federally funded, glass-walled Math Center in Pearson Library, which will be more than triple the size of the former Math Lab, in a few weeks.
The fall semester marks the launch of a new film and TV major and the addition of a new faculty member to teach in the program. Nine other new faculty members will teach business, chemistry, criminal justice, earth and environmental science, English, philosophy, political science and psychology.
New students will get to know the campus and community through a mix of new activities and orientation traditions, including painting the CLU rocks on Mount Clef Ridge and the You Got Served project doing Thomas Fire recovery work in the hills above Ventura. New events include a Bridging Differences Dinner featuring food and activities representing a variety of cultures. For the first time, families are invited to the commuter student lunch and a new meeting on commuter life, and Spanish translation headsets will be available for Opening Convocation and the family session on campus resources. Family orientation has been consolidated to a single day concluding with an expanded farewell celebration featuring live music, a barbecue dinner and mechanical bull-riding. The Week of Welcome for all new and returning students has been expanded to include a movie in Kingsmen Park and an improv night.