The grand opening of the new Cal Poly Welcome Center, the first place prospective students and visitors are introduced to the university, was held Tuesday, April 30.

The 3,200-foot space, located in the yakʔitʸutʸu housing community on Grand Avenue, will be the “front door” for the more than 50,000 official visitors the university hosts every year, according to University President Jeffrey Armstrong.

Video by Sydney Brandt & Patrick Madden

Visitors will now start their tour in a 142-seat auditorium to show prospective students “what Cal Poly is all about,” according to Vice Provost for Enrollment Development and Chief Marketing Officer James Maraviglia.

“The rest of the world doesn’t know [learn by doing] like we know it,” Maraviglia said. “This is an opportunity to showcase that for you, first and foremost.”

Cal Poly launched their new institutional branding, redefining “Learn by Doing” with a new logo, brand narrative and colors, along with the opening of the visitor center. The new look can be seen in graphic displays around the room.

Sofia Clark | Mustang News

The vision for the center developed almost 30 years ago, but it was not until President Armstrong and his team came along that the vision turned into a project.

“I initially brought the idea forward 28 years ago,” Maraviglia said. “This administration bought into it right away. [President Armstrong] started looking for opportunities to actually roll something like this out.”

The center is expected to bring in more visitors and help prospective students make the decision to study at Cal Poly.

“We think it’s going to make it even more effective and efficient for people to visit,” Armstrong said. “We expect that we will have even more visitors in the future.”

Sofia Clark | Mustang News

Armstrong also said the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport had its highest record quarter ever and that the expansion of flights will only help Cal Poly bring more people in.

“We want to bring in more students from out of state,” Armstrong said. “Those students will pay a bit more, and it will provide more scholarships for high-achieving economically disadvantaged students in California.”

He said it all fits the same puzzle.

“It’s a complicated puzzle, but it ends up with a great, pretty picture of student success,” Armstrong said.

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