New freshman students at Newman University got their first taste of college life on Friday, Aug. 19 when they moved into Carrocci Hall, the residence hall designated for incoming freshman students.
All freshman and sophomore students are required to live on campus, unless they live with their parents in Wichita or are married. For many of the freshman students moving into Carrocci Hall, this will be their first time living away from home.
The new students had plenty of help moving their belongings into the residence hall, thanks to family members and Newman Orientation Leaders – sophomore students trained to help and provide guidance to new students through the first hectic days and throughout the year.
In addition, many Newman faculty and staff members volunteered to help lug the many cardboard boxes, plastic bags, suitcases, computers, backpacks, small refrigerators, TVs, X-Boxes and other essentials for college living to students’ respective rooms.
Chief among them was Newman University President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D., who clearly relished welcoming students and family members to Newman and helping move students into the residence hall that bears her name.
“I love moving in the new students, who will bring great life to our campus I’m sure,” Carrocci said.
Many new students were equally thrilled to begin their college careers.
“I’m excited to be here,” said Alexis Evelhaoch, a nursing major from Lenexa, Kan. “On my visit to Newman it just felt like home, and today everyone is so nice.”
“It’s a new adventure for sure,” added Ariole O’Neal, a biology and communication major from Newkirk, Okla., who is Evelhaoch’s roommate. “Moving forward is always good. You have to keep moving forward.”
Other students remarked on why they selected Newman over other colleges and universities.
“It’s a good Catholic school in a city that you can still have all kinds of fun activities to do,” said Carly Martin of Hugoton, Kan. “I live in a small town and I wanted to get away from there.”
Many students’ parents and family members said they understand their children wanting to move away from home for college. Still, sending their children off to a new city left them with mixed emotions.
Just ask Carly Martin’s father, Jim.
“I’ll miss her,” Martin said. “At three and a half hours away you always miss them. But she always wanted to come to a small Catholic college, to have that small college atmosphere and small college life, so it’s good.”
Katie Harvey of Lawrence, Kan., said there were several factors that brought her son Anthony Harvey Jr. to Newman. One was a desire to pay tribute to Reece Wright-Conkling, a senior member of the Newman Wrestling Team who died in a motorcycle accident last year.
“He was like a little brother to Reece,” said Katie Harvey, explaining that Anthony, a basketball player, grew up in Lawrence with Wright-Conkling, who was four years older. “When Reece died Anthony wanted to continue his tradition. He wanted to play at a four-year college. I feel very positive about him coming to Newman. It will be a great experience for my son. He’s my baby so I’m going to miss him, but it’s an important step for him.”
Shaunece Grant, who lives with her family in Wichita, chose Newman because, “It’s close to home, I feel like I can grow here and it has my majors.” Grant plans to major in forensic science and sociology, and minor in criminal justice. She wants to become a police homicide detective, and eventually become an attorney. She is the first in her family to go to college.
Cramer Brown, another freshman student from Wichita, chose to live in the residence hall rather than staying with family. He said he chose Newman because of the school’s smaller size and friendly people.
“I went to Bishop Carroll [Catholic High School], so it seemed a logical step to come here,” Brown said. “I like private schools, and everybody has been so nice.”
Moving into the residence hall was the first step of an exciting and active three-day welcoming weekend at Newman University known as “Jet Days.” This orientation experience for freshmen and transfer students includes an official welcome to students and family members by Carrocci and other Newman leaders, meals, entertainment, a trip to the Dugan Library to get student ID cards, a series of orientation sessions, a Family Farewell Lunch, T&T (Traditions and Transitions) Class, a Welcome Back Bash on Founders Plaza, Masses optional, and residence hall meetings.
Fall 2016 regular semester classes begin Monday, Aug. 22.