Plastic storage boxes, mirrors, TVs and bicycles covered the ground outside of Barrett Hall Friday morning as students in blue shirts proclaiming “Sweating for You” helped new freshmen and their families carry lamps, fans and duffle bags up stairs, through crowded hallways and into the new homes.
Rupert Misch stood next to a pile of his daughter Rebecca’s belongings while she brought a load inside.
“It took a lot less time to get the stuff into the car than seemingly to get it out of the car,” he said. “It looks like so much more now.”
Rebecca, or “Becky,” is his second daughter and last child to move out of the house.
“The first one was a little bit easier because there was still one at home. This is a little more defining. In a sense it’s almost closure,” he said. “But I think that Becky is certainly looking forward to her time here at William and Mary, and it’s a gorgeous university and we’re looking forward to visiting.”
A member of the Class of 2012’s approximately 1,380 students, Becky is one of hundreds who moved into their new residences at William and Mary as part of Friday’s freshmen move-in day. The morning move-in is followed by a series of orientation meetings and events over the next few days for the new students. Classes begin on Wednesday, Aug. 27.
During move-in day, nearly 200 upperclassmen volunteered to help the new students and their families move into the College’s residence halls. The volunteers were members of about 14 student groups, including Greek organizations and campus ministries. Members of the College’s Student Environmental Action Coalition also volunteered during move-in day, providing free, compact florescent light bulbs and reusable cups to all of the new students. Sitting under a giant welcome sign, members of the residence life staff greeted new students by yelling their names as they checked in, and they provided the freshmen with green, draw-string William and Mary bags filled with orientation materials.
“Today we followed a 300-year-old recipe for welcoming new students to William and Mary,” said Deb Boykin, director of residence life and assistant vice president for student affairs. “With the hard work and collaboration of our housekeepers, facilities management, orientation staff, move-in team volunteers, information technology, and the William and Mary Police, we checked-in over 90 percent of the entering students by noon, with about 50 percent here before 10 a.m.”
Marissa Gonzalez, of Long Island, N.Y., said she packed “her life” for the move. Though she is excited to see what the next few days and weeks bring, “I was sad to leave,” she said.
Jason New is the first child in his family to “fly the nest.” He and his parents drove to William and Mary early on Friday morning from their home in South Boston, Va., about three hours away.
He said he was feeling “a mix of nerves and excitement, but overall pretty good.”
As Becky sorted through some of her belongings, she remarked on the friendliness of the William and Mary people she had met so far.
“Everyone’s been so nice, so I’m looking forward to meeting new people,” she said.
And though Becky is sure her parents will miss her, she said she isn’t too worried about how they’ll deal with an empty nest. They already have a vacation planned.
“They’ll be fine,” she said. “I don’t have to worry about them at all.”