It's that time of year again when students are moving back onto campus and getting settled in for a brand new academic year.
Freshman move-in traditionally kicks off a whole weekend of activities and fun at Newman University for the annual Jet Days celebration. The parking lot of Carrocci Hall was buzzing on Friday morning as volunteers helped guide families and carry full loads to the rooms.
The group of helpers, which included current Newman students and athletes, resident assistants, staff, faculty and even President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D., had bags, boxes and shopping carts in tow between 8 a.m. and noon.
Graduate Assistant for the First Year Experience group Jordan Frederking said, "Orientation is something we've been thinking about since last year's orientation. So it's been an ongoing process all year, trying to create the easiest and most exciting experience for them as new Newman students. This week it's been especially crazy trying to gather everything together, but we feel really good about it and we're ready."
Moving into college dorms and away from home can certainly be an emotional time for all involved. Overall, the newest Jets seem to share a feeling of excitement and are looking forward to their new adventure.
Joey Schneider from North Kansas City, Missouri, is an undecided major. Baseball is what brought him to Newman, but he said he's looking forward to being a Jet and making new friends. His mom Susie said, "He's my baby. I have three and all of them have moved." When Schneider's dad Tom said there have been tears for two days, Susie quickly corrected, "More like two months!"
Tomarra Sterling is feeling a little overwhelmed about the process of moving her son Keith into the residence halls at Newman. "I'm happy and sad," said Tomarra. "I want to let him go but don't want to let him go. He's my first child moving away." The Sterlings are from Kansas City, Missouri, so the travel time for visits won't be so bad, she said.
Keith is an Information Technology major and thinks this is a good opportunity for him. He said move-in day makes him feel nervous, but he's still looking forward to the challenge of college. "I'm looking forward to being able to move forward, to take the next step in my life. I'm always looking to make progress."
Donovan Daniel from Lansing, Kansas is a Psychology major. He said, "I liked when we came and visited how small the classrooms are, not like the bigger schools. I came to Newman because of the scholarship, but also because when I visited and sat in on a class and saw that I'd have a more personal experience with more one on one time with the professors, I knew it was the right fit for me.
"I'm really meticulous about my schoolwork. And I'm looking forward to the dorm life — not getting up at the crack of dawn like high school. I have most of my classes with my roommate so we'll be spending a lot of time together." Daniel said he's already thinking about joining the Psychology Club and the Black Student Union along with participating in some intramural sports.
Another Kansas City, Missouri native, Everette Johnson, is looking forward to obtaining a degree in chemistry and taking applied linguistics while at Newman. He said his admissions counselor played a big role in his choice to come to Newman.
"A lot of admissions counselors weren't as active as Georgia (Drewes) was and she really sold Newman to me," said Johnson. "I'm most looking forward to seeing what the campus life is like. She talked about the first week of school being filled with lots of activities and I want to dive into that and immerse myself in the Newman culture."
Elena Cummings is majoring in sociology. "I chose Newman because it had a really great feel when I came here in December," she said. "It just felt like the place for me, so I'm really excited." Elena is looking forward to making new friends and singing in the Newman Chorale. "I'm really excited because I love singing, and I'm in the choir. I'm nervous but super excited and stoked for the year."
Director of Residence Life Scott Mudloff was happy with how the morning went. “Move-in has gone great," said Mudloff. "We had about 40 people out here helping carry stuff in so this is one of our smoothest move-in days yet."
He added, “It is great leadership, a lot of hard planning by a lot of good people. We went over this a few times this summer. We worked out a plan and I think we have something that works.”