William Jessup rolls out red carpet for new students

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The first day on a college campus can be an intimidating one for most incoming freshmen.

Setting up the dorm room, trying to make new friends, learning the campus layout, and getting disconnected from mom and dad for perhaps the first time can be scary.

At William Jessup University in Rocklin, the college tries to minimize those fears by rolling out the welcome wagon in a number of ways for first-year students. Move-in Aug. 24 was reserved for new students only, while returning students arrived on the weekend.

The help began right away as staff and selected returning students greeted arriving vehicles in the parking area and carried entire carloads of belongings to the dorm rooms.

“That was really nice. My parents and I didn’t have to do any of the heavy lifting to my dorm room,” said freshman Ryan Dix of Fairfield. “They are making things real easy for all the new students. They are helping us in many ways and it’s very straightforward. William Jessup has taken care of everything.”

A record number of students are enrolled for the 2018-19 academic year. Enrollment is up 10 percent over last year for undergraduates and approximately 1,650 students are slated to attend the Sacramento regions’ only Western Association of Schools and Colleges-accredited private, four-year Christian liberal arts university.

Among the student body are 352 new students (freshmen and transfers), more than 400 graduate students and 46 international students who now call the Rocklin campus their home. The first day of classes is Wednesday.

Ryan Lopez of Susanville was one of the new arrivals last week. He spent one year at Lassen Community College before deciding to follow in his older brother’s footsteps, CJ Lopez.  

On that first day, William Jessup had a free barbecue dinner catered by Bon Appetit, followed by a Bundt Cake social. Goodie bags were handed out to all the new students, who were provided campus tours, printed schedules, name tags, a “meet your major” event, and had numerous opportunities to connect with fellow students. A lunch with President John Jackson occurred Saturday.

"This is a tradition at William Jessup. We have more than 100 student leaders here today (Friday) that answer all the new students’ questions and help them find their place,” said Kay Llovio, Student Life chief. “We’re really big on connection. We want to let students know we care.”