MERCED -- Summer is officially over at UC Merced.
Students began arriving over the weekend and programs are scheduled this week to help them make the transition to their new surroundings. Classes begin Thursday.
The events scheduled for this week are all part of Welcome Week, which is put on by the Office of Student Life.
On Tuesday, UC Merced conducted its second New Student Success Conference, also known as ASCEND. It included new students participating in the annual walk across the Scholars Lane Bridge. They continued on to the quad and then through the Beginnings Sculpture.
More than 1,400 first-year, transfer and graduate students are arriving on campus. This year, UC Merced will have its largest group of graduate students.
UC Merced begins its eighth academic year with a record enrollment of about 5,600 students. The university has a projected enrollment of 10,000 students within eight to 10 years and is working on plans to accommodate that growth.
For now, however, the focus is on those arriving on campus this week to kick off the 2012-13 academic year.
In the Welcome Week Handbook, Chancellor Dorothy Leland wrote:
"We hope that you begin to expand your horizons to include new friends, experiences and ideas. You might even discover new things about yourself, including your abilities and interests.
She also told students to take advantage of faculty members who are experts in their fields and urged students to "embrace our campus' spirit of innovation."