Ashlan Miller stood amongst a pile of boxes, laundry baskets, a coat rack and clear plastic tubs with pink peering out from every corner.
The incoming Anderson University freshman didn’t stay there long as a group of people clad in orange swooped in, picked up her stuff and had her moved into her room within minutes.
“I really like it here,” Ashlan — of Pierceton — said as she moved into her Martin Hall room. “Everyone from campus has been very nice.”
Even with a packed orientation schedule, Miller said she was looking forward to her roommate getting there so they could start to unpack and “make the room pretty!”
Her parents — Jeff and Kimberly Miller — said they were nervous to say goodbye but excited for their daughter’s new chapter in life to begin.
“It is definitely going to be a change for her,” Jeff Miller said. “I’m looking forward to her getting out on her own, independent.”
Kimberly Miller said the help with the move in helped them enjoy the experience and made it much less stressful.
“I am looking forward to watching her grow up,” she said. “I hope this campus helps her grow closer to God.”
Like several of the freshmen moving into male dorm Smith Hall, Lebanon native Joshua Morris wasn’t too concerned with the decor of his new dorm room. He had more pressing matters on his mind.
“The fridge,” Joshua said when asked what the most essential thing he brought was. “You gotta have something to eat.”
His laptop is another must-have as he plans to major in computer science or math.
“I’m both excited, and I know it is going to be hard to say good bye,” Joshua said, after his mom and friends left to help bring stuff to his room. “I am looking forward to college life though — meeting new people, new experiences. I’m most nervous about class.”
Beth Bowen was most anxious about saying goodbye to her son Dylan Bowen. He’s her first child to flee the nest.
“I’m apprehensive, but I’m still comfortable with the decision,” the Shelbyville mom said. “Anderson is a great place. This is a big step.”
Dylan had some apprehension himself.
“I’m nervous and excited, more nervous than excited though,” he said outside his new home. “It’s a big change, and I’m not a big fan of change. But I am looking forward to meeting new people, the different education, branching out. It should be fun.”
Dean Branson, assistant dean of students, said Thursday’s freshman move-in went great. They had about 225 people — AU football players, upperclassmen, faculty and staff — helping the new students move into the six dorms they are housed in on campus.
“It’s become a tradition,” Branson said. “It is a great blessing for all of our families that come in today to have these people helping them. For me, my favorite part of all of this is welcoming the families. I love to talk to individual families. This can be a very emotional and overwhelming day for them so anything we can do to answer questions or give assurances is a great thing.”
AU spokesman Chris Williams said they try to do everything to make the transition and move as smooth as possible. Another priority though after the students get settled in is to get them orientated with the university and the community. One of the highlights of the four-day orientation is a group service project Saturday.
“They are becoming a part of the community right away,” Williams said. “They are making a positive impact on the community, and it is one of the first things they do when they arrive on campus. It helps the students, and it creates a direct positive impact on the community.”
AU expects about 2,650 students for this school year with registration for classes continuing through the end of the week.
“The university is fortunate to have another strong enrollment given the impact and fear generated by current economic conditions,” said Michael Collette, vice president for marketing and strategic planning. “We are thankful for the strong academic reputation, and a distinctive Christ-centered culture that continue to bring the institution a place of leadership in a very competitive higher education environment.”
—Abbey Doyle is a reporter for The Herald Bulletin. Photo credit: Don Knight. Story republished with permission.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.