UVA Welcomes the Class of 2020 to Grounds

The energy was palpable Friday morning as members of the Class of 2020 swarmed the University of Virginia’s Grounds to move in to their dorms before the fall semester gets underway Tuesday. 

“The great thing about the Friday and Saturday of move-in weekend is there’s so much energy and so much excitement,” Dean of Students Allen Groves said. “These are young people going off to college and starting an important chapter of their lives.”

Throughout move-in, Groves and UVA President Teresa A. Sullivan made their way around the residence areas to greet families and make the students’ first day on Grounds one to remember.

“We’ve been waiting for them ever since they applied,” Sullivan said. “We’ve known what a terrific class this is and it’s been wonderful to actually meet them.”

Over the course of the summer, the Office of Housing and Residence Life has been preparing for this weekend, and Andy Petters, assistant dean of students, said he and the Residence Life staff have been eagerly anticipating the first-year students’ arrival. 

“The admissions office did such a wonderful job of bringing in this group of students, and we’ve been gearing up getting room assignments done and making last-minute preparations on our buildings,” he said. “A lot of facilities projects came together, and now we’re more than ready to welcome all of our new students.”

More than 300 upperclass volunteer students – clad in brightly colored T-shirts designating them as a “GREETER” – dedicated their time to assisting the thousands of first-year students and their families who were moving their belongings into dorm rooms. From carrying mini-refrigerators up flights of stairs to pointing folks in the right direction, the Greeters knew just what to do to make move-in a little bit easier.

Scroll through the gallery below to see some scenes of first-year students, their families and Greeters working together to make the weekend run smoothly.



For many upperclassmen, move-in day brings back fond memories and stirs positive emotions associated with new beginnings.

“It’s really cool to see them move in,” Patrick Andrews, a second-year Greeter said. “It gets you excited about starting the new year.”

Resident assistants were also easily accessible throughout move-in process, doing their best to help ease nerves during the transition.

“I wanted to help first-years adapt to college and learn all about the UVA community and our traditions,” Allison Centineo, a second-year resident assistant at Gibbons House, said.

Centineo also offered some advice to first-year students as they meet new people and strive to find their place within the University community. 

“Be yourself,” she said. “It takes time to get used to college, and that’s OK. Be open to new things.”

While move-in weekend is full of hellos, it’s also characterized by inevitable goodbyes.

“For parents, this is a big day because their children are leaving the home, so there’s a little bit of nervousness but also a great deal of excitement and hope,” said Groves, who was spied hauling a mini-fridge up a set of dorm steps in his blazer and orange-and-blue tie. “We try to make the process as seamless and easy as possible so the most difficult things, like unloading the car and all of their possessions, gets done quickly.”

Carolyn Patrick, who was helping her daughter, Addison, move into Bonnycastle House, said she felt a sense of pride as she witnessed her daughter embarking upon her journey as a UVA student.

“It’s a great feeling,” Patrick, a UVA alumna, said. “Walking around here, I get really emotional because I remember when I was here.”

Addison Patrick said that she is excited to follow in the footsteps of both her mom and dad by attending UVA, but also hopes to forge her own path.

“I’m nervous, but also excited to make this place my own,” she said.

Here's a look at #UVAMoveIn through the eyes of the Class of 2020:


Media Contact

Kaylyn Christopher

University News Associate Office of University Communications