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Dear USD Families,

Welcome to the 2011 Fall Semester! Campus is once again filled with energetic and vigorous students we grow to miss over the summer. By now, your student has attended their first classes and is settling into their room or apartment for the year. We would like to extend a special welcome to our families of freshman and transfer students. We are so glad you have joined us as part of the USD Torero community.

The Parent E-newsletter is sent at the beginning of each month during the academic year. It includes special announcements and updates to keep you connected to life at USD. We are pleased to inform you about new initiatives that will serve as resources during your time at USD:

Please consider the Office of Parent Relations your campus resource. We welcome your calls and look forward to hearing from you.

Renda Quinn Karina Viaud Louis Vargas
Renda Quinn '86
Karina Viaud '02
Assistant Director
Louis Vargas '09
Executive Assistant

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Welcome from President Mary E. Lyons, PhD

Mary E. Lyons picture Dear USD Parents and Families,

This is by far my favorite time of year at the University of San Diego. The opportunity to welcome our new and returning students to Alcalá Park each fall is energizing and uplifting. It is a time of anticipation and excitement, of hope and promise of the year ahead. And it is a vivid, perennial reminder of our central mission to advance academic excellence, expand liberal and professional knowledge, create a diverse and inclusive community, and prepare leaders dedicated to ethical conduct and compassionate service.

By now I hope that your freshman and transfer sons and daughters have caught the “Torero Spirit” and are beginning to feel at home at USD. And for those of you proud parents of returning students, we anticipate another productive and enjoyable year for your family as part of our growing family of students, faculty, staff, alumni, volunteers, and other friends.

We take seriously our responsibility to our community, to our management of campus resources, and most important, to our students. Recently welcomed into the select group of colleges and universities awarded the honor of becoming an Ashoka Changemaker Campus, USD continues to distinguish itself nationally and internationally for its commitment to global social change, improving the human condition, and affording our students ample opportunity to become lifelong social entrepreneurs on campus, in San Diego, and beyond. In these difficult economic times, we continue to focus our energies on a variety of collaborations and partnerships that will yield greater financial support for the university, optimal efficiencies and service, and ultimately, greater direct benefit to our students and their families.

As we look to the future, we are guided by six key strategic directions at USD, redoubling our commitments to student learning, faculty teaching and scholarship, global connections, our Catholic character and outreach, the participation and engagement of all of our constituents in the life of the university, and development of new financial resources — all to maximize our students’ growth, development, and total experience at USD for the direct benefit of our students.

USD parents and families play a very important role in the success of USD. We find our parents are committed to supporting projects and initiatives through various volunteer efforts, advocating for the university among their peers, and providing financial assistance in the form of scholarships or project support. We appreciate your commitment to being a part of our campus community and all you do on behalf of the university to endorse our work and promote our institutional success.

I look forward to our collaborations with you this year and the indelible mark that you and your student will make over time at USD. Thank you in advance for your support and encouragement. And thank you again for entrusting us with the continued education of your sons and daughters. It is a responsibility we welcome and a privilege we cherish.


Mary E. Lyons, PhD

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A Special Welcome from Parents Association Board President, Susan Hassett

susan hassett Dear Parents,

I have no doubts that your move-in experience was both exhilarating and exhausting, but a rite of passage that each of us embraces with love as we send our children into the next phase of their lives. As a parent, I know how highly emotional this transitional stage can be for the family. You can rest assured that your student is in a good place. My family journey at USD has taken us through the graduation of our first son last spring and into the junior year of our second son, and I can say that their experience at USD has been fantastic!

We are from Marblehead, Massachusetts and to send our children 3,000 miles away seemed so far. One way we have stayed close to the University is through our volunteer efforts which have narrowed the feeling of distance for us.

I encourage you to get involved, attend campus and regional events, and volunteer to be an ambassador for USD. You will soon find that this college experience can be rich for you as well as your student. As you read through the Parent Relations newsletter, use it as a resource to stay connected with the latest news on campus and gather valuable information to share with your student.

We look forward to seeing you at Homecoming and Family Weekend, September 30-October 2 and hope you will find a way to connect with USD. All the best to you and your family.


Susan Hassett P'11,’13
Parents Association Board

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Homecoming and Family Weekend 2011: Register, Volunteer and Nominate

homecoming and family weekend 2011 Celebrate USD’s inaugural Homecoming and Family Weekend September 30-October 2, 2011. These two combined special events are sure to be a spectacular new tradition. Mark your calendar as you won’t want to miss this BIG, brilliant, bull-riding, Torero BLUE weekend!

We are currently accepting registration

We are looking for parents to assist with parts of the weekend. Sign up here.

Nominate recipients for 2 great awards

Award of Excellence
Nominate a member of USD’s faculty, staff or administrator.

Torero Parents of the Year
Students can nominate parents for this award.

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Student Wellness and Adjusting to College

adrienne_jones Students often struggle navigating their first year of college and other transitions. Student Wellness is here to help! If you have any concerns about your student’s transition to college, please encourage your student to visit one of the many Student Wellness offices.

Center for Health and Wellness Promotion
University Center, Room 161
(619) 260-4618

Counseling Center
Serra Hall, Room 300
(619) 260-4655

Disability Services
Serra Hall, Room 300
(619) 260-4655

Student Health Center
Camino Hall, Room 161
(619) 260-4595

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University Ministry: A place to believe, belong and become!

What do I believe? Where and when do I experience God most powerfully? Where does my deep gladness meet the world’s great hungers? What is the meaning of my life and what should I do with it? What is my life’s purpose?

These are the deep questions that University Ministry can help your student answer.

We offer a rich variety of retreats, local service projects, immersion trips, faith-sharing communities and, of course, student masses. All Toreros, regardless of their religious background, are welcome to attend each of our programs.

Highlights of the fall semester include the first student masses, weekly service projects with St. Vincent de Paul, Community Dinner, and the start of the Community Gatherings in residence halls. Getting involved with University Ministry is easy. All students have to do is show up. Visit us at the University Ministry website for more information.

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Summer Send Off Survey

Parents of new first-year and transfer students, if you attended a Summer Send Off event in July or August 2011, please take a few moments to complete our online survey. You can also copy and paste the below link to access the survey.


Your input and responses will help us understand your experience and plan for future Summer Send Offs. The survey will remain open through the end of September.

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USD Welcome Week

USD is hosting a Welcome Week for all students beginning August 31-September 11. Students can participate in on-campus events such as Tu Mercado Farmers’ Market, Mass for Peace and a Gaming Tournament. Off-campus events include Target Shopping and Museum Trips and Padres vs. Giants Game. Take a look at the schedule.

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Financial Aid

If your student has questions regarding Financial Aid, visit www.sandiego.edu/financialaid/ or call (619) 260-2700. The fall 2011 Financial Aid Newsletter is currently available.

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Thank you Torero Parents and Torero Squad

Thank you, families! Thank you to all the generous families, students, alumni and friends of USD who assisted with hosting and attending all the Summer Send Off receptions during July and August. The Office of Parent Relations, along with other key administrators, traveled to 27 U.S. cities in the country to welcome new students and their families to the USD community.

Move-In Day and Parents Torero Days were wonderful experiences thanks to our parent and student volunteers. Parent Volunteers were on hand at each new student residence area to answer questions and direct new students and families as their USD adventure began. The USD Torero Squad members were very energetic and strong as they helped carry every stereo, bookcase, and pillow into the residence hall rooms of the new students. Thank you again for your Torero Spirit!

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USD Remembers 9/11

In memory of the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001, USD will host a Memorial Interfaith Prayer in front of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at 12 p.m. A documentary film can also be viewed September 11 at 5p.m. at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Theater. To view a list of all events for 9/11, click here.

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Parent Ambassador Program — A Volunteer Program for Parents

The Office of Parent Relations introduces the Parent Ambassador Program. Parents and families can serve as ambassadors for several programs and events sponsored by the Office of Parent Relations. Ambassadors outreach to families and students, form relationships, help each other create and sustain ties to the university, and become vested in their student’s college experience. Ambassadors are supporters of the University of San Diego!

To read more about the program, click here. To sign up and become an ambassador, click here. If you have any questions regarding the Parent Ambassador Program, contact us at parents@sandiego.edu.

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Making Achievement Possible Works (MAP Works)

USD is committed to the individual success of each of our first-year students, and offers a variety of ongoing programs and events throughout the first year to support your student’s transition to college life. MAP-Works is a program that allows individual students to share how their experience at USD has been during both the fall and spring semesters, and potentially identify themselves as a student who may benefit from additional support in their first semester.

On September 20, all first-year students will receive an invitation to complete MAP-Works Transition Survey. After completing the survey, students will receive a customized report based on their responses that provides recommendations to improve their experience by accessing campus resources and getting more connected on campus. Additionally, professional staff members who are connected to your student will be reviewing students’ responses to the MAP-Works survey and personally reaching out to meet with students who appear to be struggling with the transition. Encourage your student to participate and complete the survey when they receive their invitation on September 20.

For more information about MAP Works and to contact the Center for Student Success, visit us at http://www.sandiego.edu/usdcss/

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Out-of-State Student Program

This fall, nearly half of the new freshmen arriving on campus are coming from outside of California. USD recognizes that these students may experience challenges as they transition to life at the university. In order to better support our out-of-state students during this pivotal time, we created the Out-of-State Student Program. The hallmark of the program is the Out-of-State Student Council, a group of successful and continuing students hailing from across and outside the United States who work to enhance the experience of incoming out-of-state freshmen. Council members help out-of-state freshmen connect with first-year and continuing students from their home region by organizing regional get-togethers and activities, and providing mentoring and support for students.

This year, out-of-state students can look forward to a variety of events and activities planned especially for them by the Out-of-State Student Council. This year’s featured events are the Out-of-State Regional Dinners, Wednesday, September 7. Students will receive an invitation to attend their Regional Dinner during Torero Days. Click here for more information about Out-of-State Programs and the Out-of-State Student Council.

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The Parent Perspective:
Tecolote Canyon Natural Park:
A Hidden Jewel at USD by Mary Levine, Member of Parents Association Board

Last semester my daughter convinced me to accompany her on a hike close to campus, a trail the USD cross country team often runs. Feeling adventurous, I laced up my running shoes and followed her to "The Canyon". We walked past the Jenny Craig Pavilion down toward the baseball field. We took a sharp left down a steep closed road and found the trail, Tecolote. Read more.

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Student Alumni Association

The Student Alumni Association (SAA) is a student organization focused on connecting students with USD alumni, and providing opportunities to network with successful alumni, build USD tradition and Torero pride, and receive training in networking and professionalism. Students can join online at http://www.sandiego.edu/futurealumni

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Upcoming Alumni, Parent and Family Events

The USD Alumni Association invites parents and family members to attend these upcoming events. Please click the name of the event for more information including registration details. Connect with the USD community in your hometown area.

Twin Cities Networking Event
Thursday, September 9
Minneapolis, MN

Homecoming and Family Weekend
September 30–October 2

Chicago Fall Fundraisers
Wednesday and Thursday
October 5–6
Chicago, IL

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Torero Athletics

Torero Football Follow USD’s Athletics kick-off season today! For more information about all Torero teams, go to www.usdtoreros.com. Top stories include:

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parents on facebook!
Office of Parent Relations
Bartell Hotels


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