John A. Nunes, PhD

Welcome Back

Dear Students,

Whether you are a new student or coming back for your final year, let me begin with a warm welcome to California Lutheran University. The 2023-24 academic year is off to a great start. As part of this first bimonthly note, I would like to reflect on some of the festivities that kicked it off and remind you of some events that are scheduled for the coming days.

Over 660 first-year and transfer students participated in various new student orientationprograms throughout the weekend. Our colleagues in Student Life, along with our orientation staff and peer advisors did a great job of planning the various weekend activities including Hike the Rocks, You Got Served, the Bring It Back Bash, and more. Additionally, the Residence Life staff welcomed hundreds of new and returning students to the residence halls and campus houses. Feedback from students and family members alike indicate that the programs and events were enjoyed by all. Thanks to everyone who planned such a seamless transition program. 

Now that orientation has concluded and classes have begun, your focus is probably shifting towards classes, co-curricular activities, and meeting even more new people. This is the perfect time of year to think about how your different courses complement one another, even if they are in disparate disciplines; which faculty, advisors, and administrators can provide opportunities for research, education abroad, or on-campus employment; and what clubs or organizations you want to check out. As you go about all of these activities, remain open to and curious about whatever lies ahead.  

To guide your journey of intellectual exploration, make an effort over the next few weeks to learn about at least one of these campus resources:

And since learning is only a part of the experience at Cal Lutheran, please consider participating in one or more the these weekend activities: 

  • The ASCLUG Silent Disco on Friday, Sept. 1
  • The first football game of the year as the Kingsmen take on Southwestern (Texas) on Saturday, Sept. 2
  • Any numbers of residence hall programs that your RAs are hosting during the holiday weekend.

The campus was quiet much of the summer, and we are so glad to see you all here for the 2023-24 year. It’s just not the same when you are gone. 

Enjoy the long weekend. Have fun, stay curious, and try something new.


Lori E. Varlotta, Ph.D.



  • Grateful for You
    June 13, 2024

    To say I feel welcomed into this community would be the understatement of my working life. Since my first official day on the job, I have had the privilege of meeting many of you. You have welcomed me with open arms at local church services, a synod assembly, during impromptu conversations along "the spine," and at The Habit for lunch and Starbucks for coffee.