Classes begin at San Diego State, Cal State San Marcos, Point Loma Nazarene University

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The fall semester of San Diego State University's 120th year got underway Monday, while classes also began for students at Cal State San Marcos and Point Loma Nazarene University.

SDSU was founded in 1897 as San Diego Normal School with seven faculty members and 91 students -- most of them aspiring teachers. SDSU has since become a public research university enrolling 36,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students guided by about 5,900 faculty and staff.

"SDSU's history and the history of San Diego have been intertwined for 120 years," said Dan Montoya, assistant vice president of the SDSU Alumni Association. "This celebration is a reminder of the university's foundational role in our community and our state."

Around 11,000 new students were welcomed at SDSU, including 5,300 freshmen. The average high school GPA of 3.7 is the best in the history of the university.

The students will get to shop at Trader Joe's and eat at the Eureka! restaurant that just opened in South Campus Plaza. The Broken Yolk Cafe, Epic Wings N' Things, Which Wich sandwich shop and GoWireless are expected to open in the coming months.

The total student body of 17,000 is the largest-ever at Cal State San Marcos, school officials said. Enrollment includes 2,500 freshmen, a 17 percent increase over last year, and 1,900 transfers -- up 21 percent.

Point Loma Nazarene officials cautioned students to take alternate routes to campus because of "significant construction" along Catalina Boulevard. Students are urged to avoid Canon and Rosecrans streets. Suggested alternates are online at pointloma.edu/news/construction-update-fall-2017.

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