More than 8,900 new students join Gator family

New students push bins full of their belongings across campus

SF State welcomes 4,160 freshmen, 3,672 transfer and 1,144 graduate students.

Thousands of new students move into campus housing and kick off Welcome Days

Alexis Gloria, her mother, her stepfather and her little sister started their Saturday well before 3 a.m. They were on a mission: move Gloria from Orange County into her new residence hall at San Francisco State University. With only two pit stops, they made perfect time and were on campus by 9 a.m.

Functioning on only an hour of sleep and new-school jitters, Gloria said she’s nervous but mostly excited about starting college. “I’m hoping to make friends,” she said. “I’m going to assume that my first day will be challenging.” Her mother, Patty Flores, said Gloria worked hard during high school to get to SF State and the whole experience is a mixed bag of emotions, but overall it’s positive.

Gloria is one of 2,200 freshmen who thundered across the University’s parking lot Aug. 19, Move-In Day, pushing noisy carts filled with comforters, bed sheets, posters and clothing — all the items essential for turning an empty room into a lively home. Campus dormitories were festooned with crêpe paper streamers, sparkly signs and other decorations welcoming the incoming class. Groups of student volunteers greeted freshmen and their families with cheers and impromptu dances, then escorted them to their new homes.

This fall, SF State welcomes 4,160 freshmen, many of them commuters, 3,672 transfer students and 1,144 graduate students. That’s 8,976 new students, about 976 more students than in 2016. SF State Interim Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Mary Ann Begley attributes the growth to concerted efforts by enrollment management to recruit new students through outreach efforts that continued into the summer.

SF State President Les Wong said he was happy the incoming class grew by more than 10 percent. “Our already rich and diverse community is expanding, and I look forward to their academic and social contributions,” Wong said. “The face of the University is changing with the opening of the Mashouf Wellness Center, but the spirit of social justice and acceptance remain constant. This will be a great year.”

Incoming freshman Ana Swingle is also anticipating a stellar year. “When I got accepted to SF State I almost cried,” she said, explaining that she feels at home in San Francisco and loves the weather, a major change from her roots in sunny Orange County. She was the first in her room to arrive and immediately set to work unpacking. Her next focus is making new friends. “I’m nervous and excited to meet my roommates. I hope we get along,” she added.

There are a number of planned activities during Welcome Days to help students acclimate and connect with other students. The six days of festivities, which began Aug. 19 and continue through Aug. 24, include a barbecue, a movie on the Quad, a carnival, student success workshops and a dance and karaoke party. Fall classes begin Wednesday, Aug. 23.

For more information about Welcome Days, visit or follow the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram using #SFStateWelcome.