August 19, 2017
For hundreds of students joining AU this fall, move in day was a busy, yet quick transition from living with their own family to living with their new Anderson University family.
On August 19, more than 620 freshman moved into their new homes in the dorms on Anderson’s campus. They will ultimately be part of a record 3,500 student body, the largest the school has ever seen.
And like years past, their transition from high school senior to college student at AU was a welcoming one.
All day Saturday, throngs of volunteers were on hand to ensure that moving in went smoothly. At each dorm, cars filled with student belongings are met by a handful of volunteers, waiting to help unload. About 20 students meet each car and grab everything from computer equipment and microwaves to suitcases and mirrors to help families unload cars within minutes, and carry everything to the new student’s room.
While parents are then free to park the car, volunteers deposit the student’s belongings in their new room, leaving the student free to check in with their resident assistant and start organizing their dorm room.
Julie Murphy, from Columbia, who moved her daughter Amelia into Denmark Hall, said she was pleasantly surprised by how smoothly move in went.
“It has been an amazing kind of morning,” she said as Amelia organized her room. “I had a bit of anxiety about moving in, but then we got here and the car was unloaded in about 2.3 seconds and I started to relax.”
Move-in day marked the beginning of “Welcome Week,” a series of events designed to help students get acquainted with the school. From meeting their roommates, to attending a hootenanny, to having dessert with other students, the first few days of school are designed to ease a student into campus life, while easing the emotions of parents, as well.
“Saturday and Sunday are really a gradual transition for our incoming freshmen,” said Hannah Eberhardt, 20, one of the hundreds of volunteers helping out on move in day. The Class of 2019 business student from Jacksonville, Florida, said the week was filled with traditions. “Each student’s Alpha group will get together and work through things like how to buy books and get their iPad, and how to be a freshman. And there are other traditions too. My favorite is the Trojan Tradition where we meet on Alumni lawn, and all the upperclassmen have candles. They will turn and light candles held by the freshmen. It’s really a moving experience.”
On Sunday, families lined the sidewalk in front of Alumni Lawn, while students lined up to walk through the Archway on campus. To cheers and applause from the onlookers, freshmen walked through the arches to shake hands with Anderson University President Dr. Evans Whitaker.
The students will walk through the archway one more such time during their college career, when they graduate and leave the university.
Jane Payne, from Greenville, stood on the walkway on Sunday, to watch her daughter Emily walk through the arches. For her, the archway walk symbolized the perfect end to a long weekend.
“It’s been overwhelming, but it has been so comforting as well,” she said. “It’s impressive that the president of the school went to every dorm room yesterday, and now he’s here shaking hands with each of the students as they walk through the arch. It really feels like I am leaving her with family.”