The equivalent of a small Midwestern town moved into the University of North Dakota this weekend.
With over 3,000 new students (and their stuff) arriving all and once, moving was a monumental task. “We wanted everyone to feel welcome and excited for the amazing experience of college,” said UND senior Stephanie Rosenthal.
Hundreds of returning students, faculty and staff were on hand on over the weekend to help with the big move. “I was extremely impressed with the number of student and faculty volunteers that helped out,” said UND Vice President of Student Affairs Lori Reesor. “The weather was perfect and everybody was excited to be back … I don’t think we could have asked for a better opening day.”
This was Reesor’s first UND freshmen class. As the new VP for Student Affairs, Reesor puts a special emphasis on the role of the family.
“It’s important for families to know that we are partners on the journey that their students are about to embark on,” said Reesor. “We want families to know about our services and resources. Together, we want students to succeeded.”
After hearing from Reesor and other administration, freshmen were treated to a “blazing” performance when UND alumnus Michael Morgen put on his fire dancing show by spinning huge wicks of fire around on chains.
“We like it here because the school provides a great overall education and still has that Midwestern feeling,” said Joyce Staehle. Her son, Jacob, is enrolled as a freshmen.
Joyce and her family enjoyed a picnic lunch on Saturday and got a chance to mingle with fellow parents and new students. “[UND] has a great environment for families,” she said.
President Robert Kelley was also on hand to personally welcome the class of 2015. “There’s so much enthusiasm with this freshmen class,” he said. “(New students) are the reasons why many of us want stay involved with higher education.”
Kelley, starting his fourth year as UND president, had some advice for the new freshman: “Get involved and get networked. Stay up with your studies and focus with your job at hand. Complete your degree with the highest levels of performance you can give.”
“In the process, have a little fun,” added Kelley.