Merced welcomes newest FPU regional center (video link)

Community leaders welcomed the FPU Merced Regional Center during grand opening ceremonies March 29.

Merced Mayor Stan Thurston, Merced College President Ben Duran and District 2 County Supervisor Hubert Walsh were among the speakers to about 70 visitors at the center, 3379 G Street, Building P, El Portal Plaza. All expressed appreciation to the university for bringing bachelor’s degree completion and graduate programs to Merced.

FPU President D. Merrill Ewert returned the compliment. “This is your university,” he said. “This is your university for the Valley and beyond.”  

Proclamations came from Congressman Dennis Cardoza, State Senator Anthony Cannella and Assemblymember Cathleen Galgiani. Other dignitaries included John Bramble, Merced city manager; Norm Andrade, chief of police; John Curry, superintendent of Weaver Union School District; and Bruce Logue, pastor of Life Spring Church.

During the two-hour open house, which began at 3:30 p.m., center director Cynthia Kaitfors and faculty and staff gave tours of the 4,800-square-foot facility’s four classrooms and offices for admissions, financial aid and career support services. The center also features Internet access, a computer lab, an electronic library and places for students to study and relax.

Classes started September 16, and the first group of students finished their coursework in January and will walk in FPU’s May commencement. There are 48 students currently enrolled in bachelor’s degree completion programs in early childhood development and liberal arts.

Potential students are adults with about two years of college credit. Evening classes help students balance school, work and family responsibilities, and groups of students study together and support one another as they go through the program.

More on the center at