Aug 17, 2009
'It Begins' -- Largest Freshman Class Welcomed
COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Shortly after 8 a.m. CT Saturday, Lindsey Wilson College Dean of Students Chris Schmidt officially declared the start of the 2009 fall semester.
He posted a picture with the two-word tweet at @BigSchmidtDog: “It begins.”
Although freshmen resident students weren’t scheduled to move in to residence halls until 9 a.m. CT Saturday, dozens of students and their family members were already eager to unpack almost an hour before the official start time.
Fortunately, several dozen Lindsey Wilson staff and faculty were already on the A.P. White Campus to help the new students. For about four hours Saturday, several hundred freshman resident students were registered, directed and unpacked in the college’s residence halls.
Upperclass resident students return over the next several days. Fall classes begin Wednesday.
Official enrollment figures will not be available for several more days, but college officials already know that this fall’s freshman class is the largest in the college’s 106-year history. And with more than 825 students expected to settle in residence halls by Tuesday night, the college will also have its largest resident population in school history.
On Saturday morning, most new resident students enjoyed the kind of seamless move Jacob Shirley experienced. Shirley arrived in Columbia at around 9 a.m. CT, three hours after leaving his of Harrison, Ohio, home with his parents, Ron and Donna Shirley, and younger sister Emma.
Shirley said he didn’t pack for college until Friday, and he need but an hour on Saturday to unpack three bags of clothes, a box of school supplies, a basket of cleaning supplies, a laptop computer and a tent in his Richardson Hall room.
“It was pretty easy for me,” said Shirley, who is a member of LWC’s inaugural wrestling team and plans to major in pre-nursing. “Everything went just fine.”
Saturday’s move was also a relatively smooth one for freshman Ashley Upchurch of Monticello, Ky. She took about two hours to pack on Friday, and then arrived around 8:45 a.m. CT Saturday on campus with her parents, Ray and Carolyn, and twin younger sisters, Nikki and Taylor.
By noon CT Saturday, Upchurch’s belongings were unpacked in her Phillips Hall room, and she and her family were enjoying lunch in Roberta D. Cranmer Dining & Conference Center. Upchurch said she only forgot two items – a cable for her television and a toothbrush.
But her father, Ray, said moving was the easy part. Saying goodbye to his oldest child later in the day probably would prove to be more difficult for him and his wife.
Getting settled into a residence hall room was a little more involved for freshmen roommates Dorothy Karcher of Carrollton, Ky., and Emily Chesser of Chaplin, Ky.
The two met last March during tryouts for the LWC cheerleading squad. After making the squad, they decided to become roommates, decorating their Phillips Hall room in pink and black with a zebra theme. Although it took extra time to bring everything together – and also required a Saturday run to Wal-Mart – the pair had created a near-perfect residence hall room by the evening.
“It helps you and your roommate come together when you work on something like this,” Chesser said. “You have led separate lives, but then through this project you become friends and get closer.”
Early Saturday afternoon, the Lindsey Wilson community officially welcomed the Class of 2013 at the annual Kick-Off Ceremony, held in Biggers Sports Center.
“This entire campus has worked so hard to have you here today,” said LWC President William T. Luckey Jr., who is beginning his 12th year as the college’s eighth president.
Luckey told the students that they have “an incredible opportunity” at LWC.
“You have an opportunity to not only be the largest class in the history of this college but to also be the best class, if you find ways to help each other succeed,” he said.
New resident students then participated in Hooray, a community-building event in Biggers Sports Center. The day also included a picnic at the Emily Hundley President’s Home and an evening on the Campus Quadrangle, sponsored by the LWC Student Government Association.
Move-In Weekend continued with special events on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
But as LWC Alumni Director Randy Burns ’93 reminded the new resident students at Saturday’s Kick-Off Ceremony, they were embarking on more than a college career.
“You are only going to be a Lindsey Wilson student for a short period of time. … But you’re going to have the opportunity to be a Blue Raider for the rest of your life,” he said.