2007-08-30 / Schools

CLU welcomes 600 freshmen and transfer students

By Steve Holt steve@theacorn.com

Freshmen, transfer students and their parents attended an orientation last Saturday at Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. The all-day event was an opportunity for students and their parents to learn about CLU.

About 600 freshmen and transfer students are newcomers to Cal Lutheran.

The overall message was that Cal Lutheran is an institution that genuinely cares about its students. That message was highlighted when parents and newcomers learned that CLU administrators- even high-ranking ones- don't live in ivory towers. Even the interim president of the university, Howie Wennes, enjoys brief visits with students on Wednesdays.

Wennes welcomed new enrollees and their parents in the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center, a short walk from the main campus across the pedestrian overpass that spans Olsen Road. He told the freshmen and transfer students they had made an excellent choice in attending CLU.

During their studies and other pursuits at Cal Lutheran they would learn, Wennes said, the answers to two basic questions: "Who am I?" and "What should I be doing?"

Students would also learn about and find in themselves character, judgment, confidence in their identity and vocation, and commitment to service and justice, an administrator said, while attending CLU.

Student body president Stephanie Lucas described the university as in institution of faith, reason, justice and community. "I can guarantee this will be a lifechanging experience," she said.

Lucas encouraged and challenged new students to use all the resources available on campus.

She also told them to get involved in extracurricular activities, to study abroad, to vote, to see a sunset from Mount Clef and to study in Kingsmen Park.

Each student was assigned a mentor from a group of about 30 peers, all upperclassmen with leadership skills. New students were encouraged to call their mentor if they have problems or find it difficult adjusting to campus life.

The day's festivities included lunch in Kingsmen Park and hors d'oeuvres in the late afternoon. For freshmen and transfer students, orientation would continue for three more days.

Classes began on Wednesday.

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