California Baptist University President, Ronald Ellis, presented the annual State of the University Address at chapel on Sept. 22, 2010.
The State of the University Address informs the CBU students of Ellis’ review of the campus community, the major milestones and important occurrences that took place over the past year.
The tragedy of the car accident and the major loss of CBU Cheer Coach, Wendy Rice, was the first order of business.
“On Aug. 9, 2010, a tragic event came to our community,” Ellis said. “Our campus was the focus of a great deal of media attention. We received countless expressions of concern and support literally from the world.”
Ellis also talked about the continuing recovery of the CBU’s cross country team, especially the recovery of Rebecca Trupp.
Following the rough start CBU has experienced, Ellis focused on the positive light in the new developments of the university.
“New projects are underway as well as some exciting plans and initiatives that we believe can and will help achieve the vision of CBU as the university committed to the Great Commission,” Ellis said.
According to Ellis, this year marks the Diamond anniversary of CBU. It has been 60 years since California Baptist College was first created in 1950 and moved to Riverside five years later.
Ellis gave a brief overview of some exciting things that are a part of the Lancer legacy, including highlights about academics, spiritual life, campus facilities and athletics.
Ellis brought attention to the banners hanging on display on the west wall of the Van Dyne Gymnasium, which symbolize the strong and growing tradition of excellence.
Over the past 11 years, CBU has won 19 National Championships in the NAIA competition, including the recent 2010 men’s volleyball win of their seventh championship.
He also highlighted the success and records of the various athletic programs. Moreover, the NCAA has approved CBU’s application for the D-II membership.
After acknowledging the success of the athletic department, Ellis discussed the strength and reputation of the high standards of academics.
“CBU has been recognized in U.S. News Best Colleges and World Report Magazine for the fifth year in a row,” Ellis said. “CBU ranks high above regional universities in the west including both private and public institutions.”
He talked about the three new undergraduate programs such as Film Studies, International Studies and Public Relations, as well as a graduate program for a Master’s in Education with an International Specialization.
The ROTC program experienced growth with 36 new students. CBU welcomed 19 new professors and lecturers.
Ellis talked about the enormous growth in fall enrollment, totaling 4715. Not only is CBU enrollment increasing, but diversity is as well. Currently there are approximately 175 international students at CBU.
Four new banners around campus, as highlighted by Ellis, identify the key outcomes that are designed as important measures of success. Ellis explained the meaning of the symbols on the banners: “Biblically Rooted,” “Academically Prepared,” “Globally Minded” and “Equipped to Serve.”
Ellis commented on the increased participation in International Service Projects (ISP) and United States Projects (USP). He also talked about the new Summer of Service program and Deaf Ministry. This year 47 ISP teams served 21 countries and were able to send out their 200th team.
The development of new campus facilities and additional parking are in the works.
Phase One is a student recreation center that will provided a wide range of recreational and fitness facilities. It will include a running track, climbing wall, basketball and racquet- ball courts and other features. The target completion date is in 2011 as part of the redevelopment in Adams Plaza Shopping Center.
Phase Two, which does not have a completion target at this time, includes a multi-use arena with approximately 4,000 seats that can double for chapel and performances.
If all goes to plan in February 2011, CBU expects to break ground for construction for of a two-story building for Dr. Robert K. Jabs School of Business, between the Yeager Center and the Hawkins Music Building, which will include classrooms and offices.
“Our overarching goal is to build a premier comprehensive Christian university committed to the Great Commission,” Ellis said. “Our purpose is to help you live your purpose.