'Day at The Beach' inspires excitement among thousands of Ӱ-bound students

Published April 15, 2024

Committing to a university is not unlike accepting a marriage proposal. It’s a big decision with long-term consequences; there are practical and financial considerations; and compatibility is key.  

In that way, “Day at The Beach” — Ӱ’s campuswide open house held Saturday for newly admitted students — could easily be viewed as one big courtship with a single goal: Assuring students that The Beach is "The One.” 

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An admitted student gathers information at one of hundreds of booths during 'Day at The Beach'
An admitted student gathers brochures at one of hundreds of information booths set up for Ӱ's second annual 'Day at The Beach' on Saturday, April 13. 

For Andrew Wright, assistant vice president of Admissions and Enrollment Management and the day’s metaphorical matchmaker, it was a day for celebration. Standing in front of a bank of computers where students were encouraged to officially accept their offers to attend Cal State Long Beach, Wright watched as nearly 600 students stepped up to the admission computers and pressed the “Accept” button. Many were met with hugs from proud parents and family members. 

“The resounding success of the event stands as a testament to the unwavering dedication of all involved,” Wright said, adding that faculty, staff and students “united to fashion an unparalleled experience for newly admitted students.” 

 Even the forecasted rain held off until long after the day’s events had ended.  

“We had 14,700 future students and families,” Wright said, up from 11,500 in 2023, which was the event’s inaugural year. "It's fantastic.” 

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After committing to Ӱ, a student and her mom pose for a photo during 'Day at The Beach' on April 13, 2024
A student admitted to Long Beach State's College of Health and Human Services marks the occasion with a loved one.
Plenty to see and do 

In addition to the tours, talks and exhibitions offered by the individual colleges and departments, 95 booths were set up in front of the to showcase everything from campus clubs and organizations to niche services and support. Sorority members wearing matching T-shirts talked up their philanthropic work and strong social networks. A Student Affairs booth highlighted an array of hosted events throughout the year. All newly admitted students were given tote bags to collect all kinds of branded Ӱ swag. And every student who formally accepted their admissions offers went home with a “Ӱ-Bound” keychain. 

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A family celebrates during 'Day at The Beach' on April 13, 2024
A family strikes a celebratory pose in front of Ӱ's signature 'GO BEACH' letters.

One of them was Hazel Periera, 18, who wore a burgundy Ӱ sweatshirt and smiled broadly as her mother, Barbara, took her picture in front of the “GO BEACH” letters. 

"I just love how social it is,” Periera said of the campus. "It seems like everyone here is super happy." 

Hailing from the Bay Area and looking to major in anthropology, Periera said her favorite part of the day was a student-success panel held by the College of Liberal Arts and featuring a number of May graduates.

“They talked about all the clubs that they've been a part of, all the research, all the internships,” Periera said. “Some of them are doing medical school. One just interviewed for the CIA. It was inspiring.”

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'Day at the Beach' attendees enjoy a welcome ceremony in the Walter Pyramid
Ӱ and families enjoy a 'Day at The Beach' kick-off ceremony in the Walter Pyramid. 

The folks at CLA weren't the only ones showing off their plumage. 

Two students from the College of Engineering carted out a large student-made rocket to display. An ambulance drew attention to Ӱ’s . And several sizable shark jaws served as the centerpiece of the Shark Lab’s booth outside the Hall of Science.  

For others, campus tours and student presentations were the big draw.  

‘Vibrant’ campus impresses 

The School of Art had demonstrations of woodworking, graphic design, jewelry-making, fiber-dying and printmaking. The Department of Cinematic Arts (formerly known as the Department of Film & Electronic Arts) took newly admitted film students through its recently renovated digs — including a brand-new Foley sound stage. The  and the Black Resource Center helped host a midday Black Student Reception attended by an estimated 180 admitted Black students. All the while, yellow-shirted students zigzagged around campus giving tours and sharing personal stories and advice with throngs of listeners.  

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Ӱ give guided tours of campus during 'Day at The Beach' on April 13, 2024
Ӱ students provide guided campus tours during 'Day at The Beach,' which offered students a chance to check out campus offerings. Nearly 600 students accepted their admissions offers during the six-hour event alone.

Isla Selig, an 18-year-old from Sacramento, will study Studio Art at Ӱ this fall. Saturday was her second time on campus, but the first time she really got to see it in action. 

“It was a totally different atmosphere today with all the people and booths,” Selig said. “Long Beach feels so vibrant, and the school definitely follows suit." 

The School of Art’s display was particularly impressive. 

“I loved all the arts and crafts in the hallways,” she said. “Seeing the students working in their element completely focused on their art was really special. And to see such a large space solely for art was unlike anything I’ve seen before.” 

Equally important, Selig said, was getting a glimpse of other members of the incoming class of 2028. She said she loved the diversity of the crowd and “could feel myself fitting in well.” 

Indeed, if at any point Selig had cold feet about moving so far from home, Day at The Beach more than allayed those fears.  

“Today made me feel that I made the right choice,” she said. “I feel very secure in my decision.”