Inside Cal State Long Beach

Part One

As I see it, the purpose of a university is not only to educate students and create knowledge — although that is its main mission — it is also to serve as a community resource. Cal State Long Beach has a long history of serving our city and our region, and in my next few columns I’ll let you know how we work for the public good.

In these columns, I’ll highlight the campus-based resources available to the general public or particular groups, describe what our faculty and students do in neighborhoods all over the greater Long Beach area, and emphasize our economic impact. Space precludes mentioning everything, so visit our new community resources site at to see all we do.

Academics: There are many free or low-cost lectures and workshops on campus throughout the year and our University Library is open to the public. Community borrower’s cards are available for $45 a year. The library’s famous collection of children’s books and videos are free to local teachers for classroom use.

The Hauth Center for Communication Skills helps individuals enhance their personal communication in a variety of contexts and is open to all community residents, businesses and organizations.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) offers non-credit classes to adults 50+ on campus and at Leisure World Seal Beach, on Pine Avenue, and at the Alpert Jewish Community Center.

Our Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts (BALA) Degree Completion Program is designed for working professionals who are re-entering education with some college credits already completed. The two-year program includes in-person and online classes.

Arts and Entertainment: The Carpenter Performing Arts Center is known for hosting great performances, but did you know it also supports an education program called Arts for Life? Most of the hands-on activities are low cost or free for art enthusiasts of all ages. Activities take place at the Carpenter Center, on campus, or in community venues.

In addition, we offer plays, art exhibits, dance and choral performances, and orchestra and symphonic performances. We’re also home to the University Art Museum. And if you’ve walked across our beautiful campus you know we have an extensive collection of sculptures. For regular reminders of campus art events, sign up for the “Arts at the Beach” newsletter by emailing

The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is open to the public to enjoy for a nominal fee and can be rented for special occasions.

Athletics: In addition to championship level play across 19 Division 1 sports, we also have nationally competitive club sports to attend — hockey, rowing, and rugby are just a few. Come to the Walter Pyramid, Bohl Diamond at Blair Field, the Rhodes Tennis Center, George Allen Soccer Field, Jack Rose Track, and our LBSU Softball Complex to be part of a storied tradition of athletic competition at The Beach.

Most of our Division 1 sports also offer athletic camps under the supervision of our award-winning head coaches.

Our pools and tennis courts are open to all for a minimal fee. The Pyramid and its conference center, The Pointe, as well as some of our playing fields can be rented for public use.

I’ve only gotten through academics, arts, and athletics before running out of space. That’s how much our campus has to offer! Next month I’ll continue sharing our on-campus resources in hopes that you will enjoy the benefits of having a major university as your neighbor.

In the meantime, I wish you Happy Holidays and a Joyous New Year.

Dr. Jane Close Conoley is president of California State University, Long Beach.

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