More than 1,800 freshmen and transfer students arrived at California Baptist University as newcomers during Welcome Weekend, Sept. 2-4. Within days, however, they emerged as members of the Lancer Nation thanks to a full schedule of activities.
“Welcome Weekend is an opportunity for us officially to welcome our new Lancers to the community and help them make connections with the campus community, with the university, with fellow classmates and with Christ,” said Heather Hubbert, assistant dean of students-assessment and conduct.
First on the Welcome Weekend schedule was move-in opportunities. As students arrived on campus with carloads of luggage, CBU student leaders lined up next to the living areas prepared to help the newest Lancers move in. They carried boxes and televisions, and pushed rolling bins full of clothes and other items.
“The move-in experience was amazing,” said Anna Ent, from the San Francisco Bay area, who moved into The Cottages. “Everybody came right up to my car and unloaded everything and I didn’t have to do anything. I carried one bag.”
Additional weekend activities included a picnic on the Front Lawn, a welcome from CBU President Dr. Ronald L. Ellis, an opportunity to meet with faculty members, a Quakes minor league baseball game, and a special discount shopping opportunity at Bed Bath and Beyond. Students also met in FOCUS groups, which help acclimate students to campus life. They also participated in the Kugel walk, a CBU tradition where new students touch the Kugel (a massive floating granite globe) symbolizing their commitment to live a life of purpose as they begin their college experience at CBU.
“We are very intentional in what we do so that they do feel connected,” said Jay Stovall, director of new student programs and orientation.
Collin Magness, a nursing major from Fresno, California, was eager to become part of the CBU family.
“I’m really looking forward to the new experiences and seeing what doors God opens up for me,” he said.
Parents and guests also were able to attend some of the events.
“I think it helps the parents feel good about their choice and feel good about leaving their son or daughter here,” Hubbert said. “We try our best to give the parents a glimpse into what the CBU community and culture is all about.”
Mike Row, from Corona, California, said he attended the Academic Open House with his daughter, Shaelyn, a theatre major, to get some questions answered. The CBU community has been “awesome” he said afterward.
“She has been welcomed with open arms,” Row said. “It doesn’t feel like you’re bringing a freshman in, it feels like you’re bringing a new member to the family.”