Classes begin at state university campuses

SDSU students

SAN DIEGO — Almost 11,000 new students are scheduled to begin the fall semester Monday at San Diego State University, while others will begin classes in the North County at Cal State San Marcos.

Around 8,500 new undergraduates and 2,200 new graduate students are joining the SDSU student body, out of a record 83,000 applicants last fall.

“This is a time of unprecedented opportunity for San Diego State,” said SDSU President Elliot Hirshman.

“Through our collaborative campus efforts, we have made extraordinary progress in our core areas of student success, research and creative endeavors, and community and communication,” Hirshman said. “I am excited about the initiatives we will pursue in the coming year and our prospects for achieving even greater excellence and distinction.”

SDSU also is welcoming 51 new tenured and tenure-track faculty members, some coming from academic institutions like Harvard, Columbia, Cambridge, Emory and UC Berkeley.

Construction activity is continuing on campus, with work on an Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences Complex scheduled to open in a little over one year, an overhaul of Centennial Mall, building of a new campus gateway at Campanile Drive and the addition of amenities at the Open Air Theatre.

Off campus, work is winding down on South Campus Plaza, where 600 students will live beginning in January. The complex will also include a Trader Joe’s, a Eureka! restaurant and several other dining and retail offerings still to be finalized.

The big event at Cal State San Marcos this week will be Thursday, when grand opening ceremonies will be held for The Sports Center, the school’s first on-campus arena. The Cougars basketball and volleyball teams, which are making the transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II, had played off campus.

The women’s volleyball team will host the first sports event at the center Thursday at 4 p.m. against La Sierra University of Riverside.