The University of Virginia’s first-year dorms were filled with joyful energy this weekend as approximately 3,700 new students arrived with colorful suitcases and helpful family members in tow.
Move-in was split between Friday and Saturday based on room assignments, with about half of the students arriving per day. As each group pulled up to their new homes, teams of U.Va. Greeters were waiting to help haul heavy boxes and delicately balanced box fans into dorm rooms. Recognizable by their bright pink and green T-shirts, the 2015 Greeters were made up of nearly 350 returning student volunteers.
Some new students have already been in town for a little while and were also waiting to welcome the rest of their classmates. First-year John Hudson came up from Atlanta a week early to join the Cavalier Marching Band’s camp.
“I love it!” Hudson said. “I don’t really know what to expect, and I’m happy about that.”
Hudson is not alone in his excitement. While storage bins were emptied and decorations were put up, many new roommates who have spent months communicating over social media finally had a chance to get to know one another in person and take in the surroundings of their new suite or hall.
First-year Will Lincoln left his house in McLean Friday at 6 a.m. to get an early start on move-in.
“It’s been great,” he said. “I’m excited about meeting new people.”
Every dorm will represent a diverse micro-community where students can socialize and learn from each other. The nearly 2,500 students who journeyed to Charlottesville from homes across Virginia will find themselves living and collaborating with peers from all over the United States and more than 70 countries around the world.
Among those new communities, 200 lucky arrivals became the first residents to occupy the new Gibbons House, an Alderman Road dormitory completed over the summer that is the first on Grounds to be named in honor of former slaves.
Once bags were unpacked and parents were on the road, the University Programs Council welcomed first-years with evenings filled with celebratory events. On Friday, students painted the town with “Amp up the Arts,” a party in the amphitheater with spin art, photo booths and a sampling of some Charlottesville food favorites.
On Saturday, all students were invited to a free concert in the amphitheater by the popular indie pop band Smallpools. Afterward, UPC welcomed first-years to their very first U.Va. “Late Night” in Newcomb Hall, featuring a casino, karaoke club, cosmic golf course and much more.
After their whirlwind weekend, the Class of 2019 will have its first chance to hit the books when classes begin on Tuesday.
Here's a look at some of what they posted over the weekend: