Students arrived on the University of La Verne campus Monday toting backpacks and hot coffee, some still sleepy-eyed from months of summer relaxation and others raring to go for the first day of the f...
Students arrived on the University of La Verne campus Monday toting backpacks and hot coffee, some still sleepy-eyed from months of summer relaxation and others raring to go for the first day of the fall semester.
The bustle began before 8 a.m. with thousands of new and returning students searching for classrooms and running into old friends.
“The first day of school, you always get the people who are still in summer mode and used to waking up at noon. Now they’re waking up at 7 a.m.,” said senior Jessica Loomer, a member of the Campus Activities Board. “When they start seeing their friends and as the day goes on, everybody kind of peps up.”
Arian Avila, a junior who transferred to La Verne from Chaffey College, waited with kinesiology classmate, Jenny Cyganowski, outside the Campus Center between classes. Avila hasn’t chosen a profession to pursue after college, but he’s looking forward to laying the groundwork for it.
“I want to become better prepared,” he said.
Senior Henry Medina, who also transferred to La Verne from Chaffey, showed up early for classes to experience more of the first-day atmosphere.
“I’m here early and chatting it up with people,” the anthropology major said.
While many students felt the stress of acclimating to new classes and a new campus, Medina had one thing on his mind – his thesis.
“That’s my biggest concern right now. Other than that, it should be smooth sailing,” he said.
Excitement could be seen on the faces of freshmen experiencing La Verne for the first time. And for Angel Lozano, a freshman majoring in business, the college gave him a good first impression with the warm welcome he received upon moving into The Oaks residence hall.
“It’s like a really close family, especially at the dorms,” he said. “Everyone is really friendly and doesn’t treat anyone like an outsider,” Lozano said.
His classmates Luisa Garcia and Samantha Navarro said they plan to dive into the college experience right away by signing up for the Campus Activities Board or the Associated Students of the University of La Verne.
“I feel like I’m already finding my place,” Garcia said.
The new students came from across the United States and 15 countries worldwide. University leaders anticipate a freshman retention rate of close to 90 percent.
In addition, new and continuing adult students will be pursuing bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees across La Verne’s 11 campuses.
But freshmen are not the only new faces on campus. Fifteen new faculty members also joined the University. Seven will teach and research in the College of Arts & Sciences, seven in the College of Business & Public Management and one in the College of Law.
Stuart Wood, who teaches political science as an adjunct faculty member, said his summer break was short because he taught English as a Second Language at the University during the summer. It’s his second semester teaching at La Verne.
“I’m ready to get back to work,” he said.
The start of the fall semester came days after new and returning students moved boxes, suitcases and furniture into residence halls around campus.
For Jonathan and Marlena Scott of Apple Valley, moving in their 18-year-old daughter, Corrina Scott, into Studebaker-Hanawalt Hall was a process with which they have become familiar. The couple has already helped three of their other children move into college residence halls. And they still have a fourth, who is currently in high school.
“You get used to the moving-in part, but never the child leaving,” Marlena Scott said.
A Granite Hills High School graduate, Corrina Scott plans to major in kinesiology and wants to one day either run her own physical therapy practice or work for the National Basketball Association as a physical therapist. She chose La Verne because it was far, but not too far, away from home. And even though two other institutions accepted her, she liked the assistance La Verne provided.
“They helped me out a lot financial aid-wise,” she said.
Between 40 and 50 students from the football team, Greek life and Leo FM helped the freshmen unload cars full of their belongings, making the process a smooth one. It is the second year the University has provided student volunteers for move-in day.
“When I moved in (two years ago), it was just me and my parents,” said J.T. McLuckey, residence hall assistant.
Orientation day culminated in a gathering of about 1,300 students, parents, dignitaries and University leaders for a welcome celebration in the Sports Science & Athletics Pavilion.
“I’m going to be seeing you a lot for the next four years throughout your academic and co-curricular experience,” University President Devorah Lieberman said. “And when you graduate from the University of La Verne, you will be a competent global citizen. You’ll be able to leave here and succeed, no matter where you go and no matter what you do.”