PLEASANTON --Location. Location. Location.
That was the driving factor for University of San Francisco administrators who, along with local dignitaries and alumni, opened a new branch in Pleasanton on Tuesday.
Located within walking distance of the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station, the university campus is housed in a section of a pre-existing business complex next to the Interstate 680 and 580 interchange. That location makes it perfect for commuter students who come from all areas of Alameda, Contra Costa and Solano counties, administrators said.
The new site replaces a campus that was in San Ramon.
According to Desiree Shaw, the Pleasanton campus director, the timing couldn't have been better for the university. The San Ramon lease was almost up, and the space in Pleasanton was better priced.
"This (building) is in the heart of the East Bay, where most of our students commute from," she said.
The Pleasanton campus, located on Stoneridge Mall Road, has six classrooms as well as a library, a computer lab and administration offices.
The roughly 300 students who attended the San Ramon campus are all expected to transfer over, university spokesperson Anne-Marie Devine said,
Classrooms in Pleasanton can currently host between 20 to 80 people.
While Pleasanton is not the only branch campus the school has -- USF also has extensions in Sacramento, San Jose and Santa Rosa -- USF President Rev. Stephen Privett, said the campus offers the same education and core values the main campus in San Francisco does.
"You get a USF education without the fog," he joked. "This is about reaching beyond the city ... (the university) is simply too good to be limited to San Francisco."
Pleasanton resident Marcos Contreras and his wife, Susan, attended opening day events Tuesday.
Contreras, who is originally from Chile, spent a total of roughly 13 years going to USF, earning a bachelor's degree in business then working his way up to earning a PhD in 1993 in a multi-cultural program.
Even though he graduated nearly 20 years ago, he said he has never forgotten his experiences while at the university.
And for Privett, that is the way it is meant to be.
"The education and the values are still amazingly relevant over 150 years later," he said. "(The Pleasanton campus) is a great way to continue our 30 years in the East Bay."
Contact Katie Nelson at 925-847-2164 or follow her on Twitter at Twitter.com/katienelson210