New students move to campus
Radford University experienced a double dose of new school year excitement during new student move-in activities Aug. 27 and 28.
Muse Hall opened to students Aug. 27. The rest of the residence halls opened on Aug. 28. Move-in day has traditionally occurred the Friday before the first day of classes, but was changed to its current format to ease traffic and parking congestion. Radford University has enrolled more than 1,900 new freshmen for the fall 2015 semester.
To ensure the move-in process ran smoothly, hundreds of Highlander helpers – student volunteers -were on hand to unload vehicles and transport the thousands of pillows, mini refrigerators and suitcases to students' new living spaces.
Chrissy Deavers of Front Royal waited patiently outside Muse Hall Thursday as her daughter Kelsey Deavers and roommate Ashley Murphy moved in their residence hall room.
"I wasn't really sure how this was all going to work, but it's going great," Chrissy Deavers said.
As she stood in the shade awaiting her daughter's return, at least three separate groups of student-volunteers approached to offer additional assistance.
"It feels more like home here," Deavers continued, comparing Radford to the larger universities they had toured this summer. "We're all very happy she chose Radford."
Kelsey Deavers plans to major in elementary education. She and roommate Murphy, longtime friends, were nervous, but excited to start the semester. Mom, on the other hand, was a bit anxious:
"I'm fine right now, but later on I might not be. Kelsey is my sidekick."
Nick Turner of Roanoke also waited with volunteers as his belongings were carted along the path to Muse Hall's entrance.
Turner's current alma mater, Lord Botetourt High School, is located just miles from Radford University. That's one reason Turner chose to attend his future alma mater.
"Radford's close to home," Turner said. "And I like its size. It's not too big or too small."
Turner wants to major in biology and one day follow in the career footsteps of his uncle, who is an orthodontist.
Radford University is not as close to home for new freshman Avery Reding. Reding is a resident of Plano, Texas – a suburb outside of Dallas. She traveled by car more than 1,000 miles with her family to move in to Jefferson Hall on Friday. A lacrosse player, she heard of Radford through women's lacrosse head coach Haley Marvine, who met Reding at a camp. They kept in touch, and when Marvine was hired as head coach last fall, Reding decided to follow.
"I really liked the size of Radford," Reding said. "Other schools I was looking at to play lacrosse ranged in size from 1,500 to 5,000 – way too small for me. Radford was right in the middle."
Radford University this academic year has attracted students from across the United States, including Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina and Maryland.
Reding's father, Steve, said he thought it was a great opportunity for Reding to play lacrosse for a Division 1 athletic program.
Take the word "athlete" out of Reding's student-athlete title and her other role as a Highlander is revealed.
Reding plans to major in nursing. It's going to be tough to juggle sports and studies, she admitted, but student-athletes are allotted time to tackle their course work and are expected to maintain a strong GPA.
At Friday's legacy luncheon, Lisa Peters '87, the mother of new freshmen twins Kelsey and Stephanie, shared what it was like to raise and later let go of such close siblings.
"As parents of twins, we're used to dividing and conquering," Peters said. "It was a blessing when I heard they both wanted to go to Radford because I couldn't imagine missing one of my daughters' first day at college."
Lisa Peters and her husband, Mike, live in Culpeper.
"We're empty-nesters now," she said.
The twins originally planned to attend separate colleges. That plan changed quickly upon visiting Radford University.
"It felt like home," Kelsey Peters said.
Although attending the same university, the twins will follow different educational paths. Stephanie, who played high school soccer, plans to major in athletic training and enter Radford's physical therapy program. Kelsey, described as having a "motherly instinct," plans to major in elementary education.
"[Their perspective majors] are indicative of their personalities," Lisa Peters said.
They're also living in different rooms, "so we can expand our horizons and meet new people," Stephanie Peters said. But living in the same residence hall means "we can still stop by and borrow each other's clothes," she added.
Several events are scheduled during RU's Welcome Weekend to help students and parents adjust to campus.
For a full schedule, please visit the Student Activities homepage.