Fresno Pacific University prepares to welcome over 3,000 students back on campus

Classes resume next Monday, August 29th.

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Friday, August 26, 2022
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Students returning to the Fresno Pacific University campus this semester will notice a new president, a new arts center, and many new events lined up.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno Pacific University is welcoming students back to campus and with the start of class just days away, they're busy preparing for the year ahead.

After several years of COVID precautions in place, the campus is really focused on bringing back that college experience this year.

They're starting off with a freshman retreat this weekend - something they haven't been able to do in years - but staff say that's just one of many changes students will notice across the campus.

It's Year Two for student Michelle Salazar, but so far the school year is already looking different.

"I feel all the events like we all are gathered together... I didn't experience that as a freshman because of COVID," she says.

With retreats, events and concerts planned, she's excited to get more of that college experience.

"That's such an important aspect of Fresno Pacific, how easy it is to make bonds and connections and the endless memories you make with everyone," she says.

The university welcomed 300 new students to the campus on Thursday.

It's something FPU's new president says he's been looking forward to all summer.

"I started July 1. Looking out of my office this summer, I saw squirrels and birds most of the time because it was quiet so seeing the students today warms my heart. This is what we're here for and this is why I'm here," says Andre Stephens.

In addition to a new president, students will notice the new Warkentine Culture and Arts Center.

The new center will be home to a variety of classes and extracurriculars this year.

For students, it presents another opportunity to connect with campus culture.

"What I love most about the community here is how easy it is to get to know everyone and just make bonds and friendship," says Stephens.

President Stephens says the number one goal this year is to serve students.

They'll have plenty of opportunity - with roughly 3,500 students across their campuses.

Classes resume next Monday, August 29th.