Many wide-eyed parents sat in their vehicles in Park Lot on Wednesday, waiting to drop their child off at the freshmen residence halls on the College’s annual Move-in Day.
It was business as usual for the Patel family of Jonesboro, Arkansas.
“We’re used to this,” Smita Patel said.
Her daughter, Brina Patel ’20, will major in chemical engineering and is the third sibling to attend the University. Brina’s brother, Amir, graduated in 2013, and her sister, Shreya, will graduate in 2018.
Not bad for a family who lives nearly 1,000 miles away.
“Does that tell you how much we love this school?” Smita said with a smile.
Brina has had her eye on Rochester for years.
“It’s a great engineering school and a great place to be,” she said. “I’m excited.”
Brina was one of about 900 College freshmen from a class of 1,368 who moved into their new homes on River Campus on Wednesday. The students come from 49 states – all but Alaska.
Student-athletes moved in last week, and international students from 90 nations moved in Monday. The total undergraduate enrollment is about 5,300.
Ivan Dongmo ’20 of Baltimore was the first student to arrive, checking in with school officials in Park Lot at 6:45 a.m. Dongmo’s dad is a schoolteacher in Baltimore and didn’t want to miss that city’s first day of classes on Tuesday, so they drove overnight to Rochester.
Bryce Sommer ’20 is an engineering student from Scottsdale, Arizona. He has attended a prep school in New Milford, Connecticut the past four years, and Bryce’s parents say those long-distance relationships made Wednesday much easier to deal with emotionally.
“What these parents are feeling today, we had that when Bryce was 14,” Scott Sommer said.
Bryce applied to several colleges in the Northeast but knew Rochester was the right one after visiting.
“I loved the campus and loved the feel,” said Bryce, who plans to try out for the Rochester squash team that made it to the national championship last spring.
Families were broken into morning and afternoon shifts, where the wait from parking lot to the dorms was about one hour.
“It’s painless,” Scott Sommer said. “They really do everything for you.”
While the families waited in the single-line processions, they were serenaded by University a cappella groups the Midnight Ramblers (Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours), No Jackets Required (Brown-Eyed Girl), and After Hours (Stand By Me). Free water, lemonade, and iced coffee also were provided.
Once families arrived at the freshmen residence halls, they were greeted by student volunteers who carried luggage and personal items up to the freshmen rooms.
“The parents don’t have to do a thing,” said Eleanor Oi, director of orientation, adding that more than 200 undergraduates served as volunteers helping their new classmates move in..
An Orientation Expo in the Field House at the Goergen Athletic Center gave freshmen and their parents a chance to visit booths manned by numerous University departments. The College Convocation was held at Eastman Quad later in the day, with President Joel Seligman leading a group of school officials.
“This is probably the best-qualified class we’ve ever had at the University of Rochester,” Seligman told the crowd. “We care about you as individuals. We offer you the opportunity to study what you love.”
At the Eastman School of Music campus, 140 undergraduate and 111 graduate students also moved in on Wednesday. Classes on the River Campus and at Eastman begin next Wednesday, Aug. 31.
Move-in Day in Photos
(University photos / J. Adam Fenster)
Category: Student Life