GREENWOOD — They were moving pictures, clothes, lamps, computers, books, chairs and all other forms of furniture to study on, lie on, and write on.
And they were moving it all under a hot summer sun during Lander University’s annual Freshman Move-In Day August 15.
All four campus residence halls — Centennial, New Hall, Brookside, and Chipley — were abuzz with new faces, excitement, and hopes for a strong start to the next four years.
“My sister Bailey also attends Lander,” said Kenley Clark of Anderson, S.C., as she headed into Chipley Hall. “I liked the campus so much I decided to come here too.”
Junior Lauren Branyon helped wave after wave of new students move in to Centennial Hall, mainly because she remembered her own freshman move-in experience.
“I volunteered last year too because I know how much it helped me in my freshman year,” Branyon said. “Everybody can use a little help.”
Thanks to Branyon, campus police, upperclassmen, faculty and staff volunteers manning check-in stations and residence hall traffic, lines from moved smooth and fast.
“It’s still nearly an all-day job — at least until 1 p.m. or 2 p.m.,” said Lander police Lt. Roger Collins, smiling as he directed traffic and gave advice to drivers at Centennial Hall.
By lunchtime, 850-900 freshmen were firmly in residence.
“It’s a record number for us,” said Cindy Dysart, now entering her 22nd year as director of Housing & Residence Life. “It’s always so exciting to see new faces, welcome the freshmen in, and get them on their way to this new opportunity in their lives.”
She added that new technology helped her and all volunteers keep track of every new face.
“We went to a full electronic system last year,” said Dysart, “which allows us to give freshmen an immediate check-in and know who has arrived on campus and who is yet to arrive.”
Judging from the check-in lines and traffic, many freshmen opted for an early start — some arriving as soon as 7 a.m. to begin their move-in.
Arrivals were from all across South Carolina — from Greenville to Anderson to Charleston — and some, such as Jonah Mullinax, were nearly within shouting distance of their home.
“We’re from Ninety Six, close enough for a commute,” said dad Todd Mullinax while assisting with the move-in. “But I wanted Jonah to live on campus because I want him to have the full college experience.”
When asked what he was looking forward to the most in the next four years, Jonah Mullinax answered in a single word: growth.
“I’m excited to start Lander, but I also understand that a lot of growth has to take place,” he said. “It’s up to me now.