SF State welcomes new students

Photo of President Les Wog

President Les Wong welcomes new students and their families to SF State during the "Faces of Community" event.

SF State welcomed more than 8,000 new students today -- including the largest freshmen class in the University's history -- officially kicking off the 2015-16 academic year.

In his welcoming remarks to the class of 2019, President Les Wong called upon students to be engaged, to challenge themselves and, most importantly, to "own your own mind."

"We want you to take your education and live a meaningful life," Wong said during the "Faces of Community" event, the University's official welcome to new students and their families. "Your education is about how you get to experience the beauty of making a difference."

Photo of new students during Welcome Days

New students and families were officially welcomed to SF State on Friday during the "Faces of Community" event held on the Quad.

During the event, held on the Quad, students and their families were also greeted by Associated Students Vice President Sarah Pishny, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Luoluo Hong and Interim Dean of Students Mary Ann Begley, who each welcomed attendees into the Gator community and offered them advice for their time at SF State.

"The moment you find your niche here at SF State you will never want to leave this place," Pishny said. "There are people here you will never forget."

Hong reminded students to reach out to their professors, University staff and their peers during difficult times and challenged them to "push yourself to the limits of your ability."

"We look forward to seeing where the world leads you and, more importantly, where you lead the world," she said.

Welcome Days is an annual event held before and during the first few days of fall classes and designed to orient students and their families to life at SF State. More than 4,200 new freshmen -- the most ever for the University -- as well as more than 3,700 transfer students and more than 1,100 new graduate students are beginning their studies at SF State this fall.

Other activities on Friday included academic and student life panels for students and parents, the "Taste of SF State" lunch on the Quad, a parents dinner and the "First Class," presented by Associate Professor of Africana Studies Dawn-Elissa Fischer on the topic of "What can hip-hop teach us?"

A student life carnival, a meet and greet in the library and the annual "SF State's Got Talent" showcase will be held later in the evening. On Saturday, students will fan out across the community to participate in a service project to clean up the neighborhoods around the SF State campus as well as nearby Lake Merced.

All students return to campus on Monday to begin the fall semester.

For more information about Welcome Days including a schedule of events, visit www.sfsu.edu/~welcome/. Students and families can follow the conversation on social media and share their posts using the hashtag #SFStateWelcome.