RU welcomes Class of 2017 with red carpet treatment
Radford University rolled out the red carpet for the class of 2017 on Friday for Move-In Day, as part of its Welcome Back Weekend. Volunteers from the RU student body, faculty and staff pitched in to unload, carry, answer questions and offer the university community's warm welcome to the more than 2,000 members of the freshman class expected to start their collegiate careers when classes start on Monday.
"This has been so well organized and so friendly. We are thrilled our son is coming here," said Julie Lazenby of Winchester, Va., as she waited under a tree as her son, Camden, checked in at Muse Hall.
Lazenby said an anonymous group of RU students had whisked away the first load of Camden's gear and she and Maddie, Camden's sister, were awaiting the swift conclusion of a transition that will "lead to his being happy and ready to accept any challenges that come up when he graduates."
Over in front of the newly-refurbished Washington Hall, Tom Miller and his daughters, Mackenzie and Cassady, looked out upon Moffett Field where another sister, Morgan, had graduated in May.
"RU took great care of Morgan and Mackenzie is ready to follow her," said Miller as a platoon of sisters from the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority swept in to volunteer their assistance in hauling a refrigerator, microwave and tote boxes of varying sizes up to Mackenzie's room.
Mackenzie said she had been visiting her sister at RU since her sophomore year and described herself as "completely comfortable" with being a college student here now. She pointed out how the cycle had come around as she had helped big sister move in four years ago. Mackenzie is now counting on Morgan's arrival over the weekend to help her with the final touches to her room and introductions to friends across campus.
Robyn Doggett of Chatham was not feeling quite as bold as she stood with her daughter Stephanie, a freshman who hopes to major in occupational therapy.
"Today is kind of bittersweet, she is the baby and I am going to miss her," she said. "But I think RU will help achieve her goals. I really like the community feel of the campus and its people.
While waiting for his father to return from parking the truck, Luke Kelly, a freshman from Withams, Va., who hopes to major in history said he chose RU because it had the feel of both a prestigious big university and a small, friendly community.
He reflected on what lies ahead for him saying, "It really hasn’t sunk in yet, but I look forward to meeting new friends and my professors while experiencing new things."
Leylani Rivera of Woodbridge was also eager to meet new people and to get a start on her goal of becoming a forensic technician as a criminal justice major. Her meeting new people began right away as members of the RU volleyball team introduced themselves to her mother, grandmother and aunt and asked "Can we help?"
"RU was my first choice and my guidance counselor, who was great, told me it would be a great place for me," she said. "I want to play softball, study and make my family proud."
RU volleyball players also pitched into help Alize Barone, a freshman nursing student from Chesterfield, Va., move into Ingles Hall. In return, Barone promised to become a RU volleyball fan, as time permitted.
Carson Widener, senior biology major from Bristol, Tenn., and defensive specialist on the volleyball team, said, 'Helping out today makes me realize how much time has passed since I was a nervous freshman and how much I have grown."
Maggie Lamb, president of the RU Catholic Association and a senior biology major from Virginia Beach, was at the head of a team of 12 volunteers who were pitching in to help keep the boxes moving from truck or van to staging area and then to dorm room.
"When I was a freshman, a fraternity helped me and my family get moved in, so I want to return the favor," she said. "I remember my own bunch of anxiety then and I want to let those we help today know how easy it can be here to make a friend."
Learn more at www.radford.edu.