Helping hands, broad smiles welcome Class of '16
Parents express pride and confidence as they say poignant goodbyes
Under sunny skies, the chorus of “Is this going up?” rang out again and again as hands reached into the trunks of cars pulling up to the dorms. Upperclass volunteers, in bright T-shirts and with smiling faces, greeted incoming freshmen and their families as they balanced bags of bedding, boxes of electronics and personal affects.
Peter Pizzano of Stoneham, Mass., sat working at his daughter’s computer in Kutz Hall, grateful for the help.
“Move-in was great. It was fine bringing her here today,” Pizzano said. “But leaving her will be a different story.”
Her mother, Donna, echoed the sentiment, adding with a sad smile: “But it’ll be good for her.”
Down the hall, Griselle Leon of New York City helped her daughter, Genesis, put away her clothes.
“We made it here in three hours and everyone was so helpful, which helped calm [Genesis’] nerves,” Griselle said. “She’s excited to be out of New York. She said to me ‘I’m so done with Brooklyn.’”
Genesis’ roommate, Sabrina Lynch, of Brockton, Mass., was also getting some help unpacking from her mom Paula. Their trip took only 40 minutes, but Paula still expects Sabrina to be too absorbed in campus life to go home often.
“I’ll go home once in a while,” Sabrina said, smiling at her mom.
In less than four hours, the Class of 2016 was moved in. After unpacking, the 820 incoming freshmen and their families wandered through campus Sunday, running errands, meeting classmates and attending a variety of welcome events designed to familiarize them with campus life.
At the Family Resource Center in Levin Ballroom, representatives from a variety of campus services and departments were on hand to answer questions ranging from how to send baskets of edible goodies to your child to how to make sure your child has clean clothes to wear to what religious services are available on campus to how university police ensure students’ safety.
Samuel Varughese of Waltham, Mass., looked around with his family and said he was not concerned about leaving his daughter, Jenny, at Brandeis.
“She was born on South Street,” on which the campus sits, he said. “She’ll be fine.”
Yi Liu ’16 was far from his home of Beijing. He hung out at the event with a new friend, Marshall Chang, also from Beijing, whom he met on campus, and together they tried to figure out questions about their international cell phone.