Nearly 1,800 new freshmen and transfer students stepped foot onto the California Baptist University campus during Welcome Weekend, ushering in a new era of Lancers ready to take on their next four years of education.
From Sept. 2 to Sept. 4, first-year students made the transition from home to college, moving in to their new living spaces, attending informative sessions about majors and careers, dining for the first time at CBU favorites such as Chick-fil-A and El Monte Grill and saying goodbye to friends and family.
“What we’re doing is investing in eternity,” said Jay Stovall, director of new student programs. “These are people’s lives that we get to invest in. (We) give them a good first experience.”
The weekend began Friday evening with dinner on the Front Lawn, shortly before the traditional Kugel Walk took place.
Professors, parents, friends, current students and more lined the path to the Kugel as incoming students passed through and brushed by CBU’s symbol of The Great Commission. When these students graduate, they will retrace their steps one more time as the Kugel sends them out to the real world to fulfill the CBU motto, “Live Your Purpose.”
“A couple of (the students) said they loved walking through the tunnel and touching the Kugel because they said they saw professors there and they saw the professors cared enough to come on a Friday night,” said Maddie Skala, junior nursing major. “They loved going through. You know their arms were tired high-fiving everyone.”
Skala was one of the leaders of First-year Orientation and Christian University Success (FOCUS) Group SS, which was composed of 13 incoming freshmen students. Skala joined 133 other FOCUS leaders and interns in welcoming the new batch of Lancers to campus through different sessions and activities.
“I took the girls shopping today at Savers and it was so fun, asking their questions and how excited they were,” Skala said.
Friday evening, Bed, Bath & Beyond closed its doors to the public and opened its doors to the CBU community from 9 to 11 p.m. for Lancers and Beyond. All CBU students received 20 percent off.
“We had food trucks, a DJ, they decorated the store,” Stovall said. “It was awesome.”
Ten buses took hundreds of first-year students to Rancho Cucamonga to watch the Quakes play against the Modesto Nuts. Although the Nuts beat the Quakes 7 to 3, the Lancers still celebrated by watching the fireworks afterward.
“One of my students said he completely lost his voice at the game,” Skala said.
Sunday night ended Welcome Weekend with a colorful Clash-n-Roll underneath the tent on the Front Lawn, followed by the Lancer Celebration, which had food trucks, live music and a lot of energy.
The wildly dressed first-year students and leaders joined together under the tent for a rousing game of Bunco, which Skala said was specifically picked because of the nature of the game.
“The reason we do Bunco is because they switch partners all the time, so they get to know everyone else and their peers,” she said. “Transfers, freshmen, they all connect with each other.”
At the end of the weekend, the students celebrated their integration into CBU with Late Night Brisco’s at Brisco’s Café.
When asked what her favorite part of the weekend was, Riley Troupe, freshman communication disorders major, mentioned the community feel.
“I think something I’ve learned is how important it is to have a community as a Christian and just to have others to support you,” Troupe said.