New San Diego Christian College campus viewed as a benefit to Santee

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High expectations and excitement were the order of the day at the Grand opening of San Diego Christian College in Santee on January 20. It was nearly a year since the college had celebrated the acquisition of the property. 

For English major Annie Boettner, 19, first classes would take place the next day at the new campus.

High expectations and excitement were the order of the day at the Grand opening of San Diego Christian College in Santee on January 20. It was nearly a year since the college had celebrated the acquisition of the property. 

For English major Annie Boettner, 19, first classes would take place the next day at the new campus.

“I’m excited. I love Santee. I’m so glad it is close to the shopping center, and I love being so close to the airport since I have a lot of friends who are Aviation Majors,” she said.

Grand opening ceremonies included rousing speeches.

“As we do with everything, we want to start out right by giving the glory to God,” said Robert Jensen, vice president of advancement.

Alumnus of the Year Emmanuel Sanchez thanked the city, building contractors and college staff for their support of the new campus.

“We will look back years from now, all of our hands covering this campus,” Sanchez said.

Dr. Paul Ague, president of the college, remarked that just 95 days ago, “these were empty, cold concrete floors,” he said.

“Our students get to participate in the history of the college,” Ague said, adding that the new campus is a “reset” with a brand-new momentum, attitude and facilities.

It was a rough road getting started, Ague admitted, but the college had real plans from the start to be partners with the city.

Mayor Randy Vopel was more than enthusiastic about the new campus. He said that when the first religious institution came to Santee—the Sonrise Church—he had “played hard-nose.”

“I was the swing vote in making it happen,” Vopel said.

But when San Diego Christian College came to Vopel with an entire business plan and mission in place, he was impressed. “The city of Santee is invested in this institution forever,” he said.

Assemblyman Brian Jones congratulated the young people present at the grand opening, calling them the “’next greatest generation’ because they have a cultural battle ahead of them. Jones exhorted the students to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.

City Councilmember Jack Dale said that the reason Santee chose the college to become part of the city is for its theater, art and music.

Ross Johnston, a student who transferred from the Crest campus to the new Santee facility, enjoyed his dinner in the new cafeteria with friends. “This is an exciting time,” Johnson said. “We are all close with the professors. They don’t know what to expect, and neither do we, but it will be better.”

Associate Professor of Music Larry Wilson had students and parents crowding into his music room on the second floor of the college, admiring the views.

“This is a tremendous upgrade for us,” he said. “The campus feels like it’s out in the country, but we’re so close to everything you need.”

Wilson said that the new campus would produce its own form of the spring musical, a revered annual event. 

“It will be on a smaller scale than the El Cajon, but we’ve got Paul Russell as Dean of Performing Arts. He’s a real go-getter,” Wilson said.

For more information about San Diego Christian College, go to www.sdcc.edu.

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