Call it a community or call it a family – any which way you look at it – thousands of new students can now call UC Santa Barbara home.
The campus started bustling again over the weekend as move-in activities marked the return of students ready for a new academic year. Welcomed and assisted by campus staff and several volunteers, they toted belongings and bid farewell to families.
New students and distinguished professors walked the damp grass of the Faculty Green on Monday, Sept. 19, for the annual New Student Convocation. With the lagoon habitat glistening after the morning’s rain, Chancellor Henry T. Yang set forth the university values for higher education along with sound advice – don’t cut class, learn to budget your time, call home – and a hearty, “Welcome to the UC Santa Barbara family.”
Each year, the event marks the start of the fall quarter and serves as the university’s official induction ceremony for entering students.
“Today we celebrate an important milestone in your lives: the beginning of a new intellectual adventure,” Yang said, later cheerfully announcing, “You are the reason we are all here!”
Pierre Wiltzius, executive dean of the College of Letters and Science, also offered remarks, as did UC Board of Regents Chair and UC Santa Barbara alumnus Richard Leib, who gave the keynote address. Associated Students President Gurleen Pabla and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Margaret Klawunn also spoke to the roughly 4,500 students who lined the informal outdoor amphitheater and dotted the grassy knoll.
It’s a high-ranking student cohort joining UC Santa Barbara’s campus family this year – with freshmen and transfer GPAs averaging 4.29 and 3.59, respectively. It’s also a diverse group. Just under a third of incoming students across classes are underrepresented minorities, and nearly a third of freshman (32%) and transfers (30%) are first-generation college students.
Instruction begins Thursday, Sept. 22.