Toting duct-taped boxes, computers, mini-fridges, piles of books, overstuffed laundry bags and snacks galore, Radford University's Class of 2016 moved in Friday with help from campus volunteers, family members and friends.
Hunter Beale of Smithfield said he looked at several other colleges and universities, but Radford was his choice. He cited its comfortable, engaging environment and hometown feel. "It’s been exciting," said Beale, a freshman business major who will be one of the first students to attend classes in RU's brand-new College of Business and Economics (COBE) building.
"That building was a big attraction for me," he said.
Beale is also among the first students to live in the newly renovated Moffett Hall. Built in 1963, the residence hall building reopened this week after a year of renovations, some of which include two-person and three-person rooms, each with its own bath, expansive meeting and study spaces, lounges with bamboo flooring, kitchens, laundry rooms and state-of-the art filtration fountains on each floor for refilling water bottles.
Beale's mother, Sarah, confided that the day was bittersweet for her. "I've been dreading it for months," she said. "Even last year during high school graduation for his friends, I was crying for what their mothers must have been feeling—that pain of someone leaving your family and it never being quite the same again. It's so hard when you have to give them up."
Freshman Katherine Fitzgerald of Rocky Mount had already said her emotional goodbyes to friends and family. She arrived on campus a week ahead of move-in day to get a jumpstart on familiarity with her new home.
"I didn't know where I wanted to go at first, but I knew I wanted to stay close to home and somewhere I could also take my car with all my stuff," she said, noting more than two dozen pairs of shoes still sitting in her car. "I feel like, in a way, I've always planned on coming here. They have nice, small classes here, which I really liked. They don't treat you like a number."
Fitzgerald was reunited on 2012 Move-In Day with her friend Anna Lynch, an RU senior also from Rocky Mount. "The people here are really helpful," Lynch said. "The teachers and staff will help you with whatever you need, whenever you need any help."