Dr. Joseph Castro visits the Fresno State campus

May 30, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Incoming Fresno State President Dr. Joe Castro arrived on campus, Thursday morning, for his first official visit since being appointed to the position a week ago.

Castro received a warm welcome from students and staff as he and his wife Mary toured the campus and met one-on-one with university leadership.

"It was a great opportunity to meet Dr. Castro and give him a chance to listen to some of the things we're doing on campus," said Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Paul Oliaro. "He's obviously someone who understands students, our service area in the Central Valley and has an appreciation for the kinds of services and programs we provide students to help them succeed."

During his visit, the Hanford native met with members of his new cabinet at the Smittcamp Alumni House. That's where Athletic Director Thomas Boeh talked about the importance of Fresno State Athletics and the role of the football team.

Dr. Oliaro also informed the new leader about new initiatives planned for the summer and fall semesters.

"It's obvious he listens, he asks questions, he wants to learn about the campus from everyone on campus, not just the Vice Presidents," said Oliaro.

New Banners with Castro's picture were strung throughout campus in anticipation of his big day and representatives from the student body greeted him with gifts inside the Madden Library -- before sitting down with the new Bulldog in his future office.

"I think it says something that he chose to meet with students alone to really discuss what we felt were some of the issues that he could help us with and he was very personable," said ASI president Arthur Montejano.

Issues, students explained, such as financial aid, scholarships and jobs on campus. After meeting with their new leader - those we talked with said they're looking forward to the future.

It went great, just getting to know him a little bit better, some of the things going on at Fresno State, what he plans on doing," said incoming ASI President Moses Menchaca.

"He understands the issues and challenges the vast majority of our students face both getting to college and getting through college and they know he will be supportive of all the initiatives and programs we have in place to help them succeed."

Castro will have big shoes to fill when he replaced Dr. John Welty after 22 years. Welty has agreed to stay on throughout the month of July to help with the transition. Castro will officially take over by August first.


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