Videos are nice, but seeing Move-In is believing
By Karen Fernau
GCU News Bureau
Freshmen knew the drill from watching videos of previous Move-In days at Grand Canyon University, clips of purple-clad volunteers welcoming new students by name and with high-decibel cheers.
But to those arriving from out of state, the Facebook videos of Move-In paled in comparison to Monday’s first-hand experience.
Halee Peel, a freshman nursing major from Cortez, Colo., said it best. “I’ve seen the videos, and I am completely overwhelmed by the greeting, the spirit, the everything. It’s so much more than I expected, so much more exciting in person.”
An added bonus: She didn’t have to carry a trunkload of clothing and school supplies to her new home in Juniper Hall. Hundreds of student volunteers were on hand to do the heavy lifting.
Freshman Zach Siltman from Seattle, agreed: “It’s so much crazier than the video, and I really appreciate the help moving in.”
Brystol Nachtigal, an elementary education major from Aurora, Neb., described the experience by what quickly became the word of the day. Awesome.
For students like Tiffany Palm, a freshman Christian studies major from Modesto, Calif., the high-spirited hello took the edge off of a case of freshman jitters.
“It makes me feel comfortable right away. I’m now more excited than nervous,” she said as volunteers welcomed her into their Lope family.
Brianna Rivera, a freshman biology major from Fort Collins, Colo., admitted being anxious about leaving home, living with strangers in a residence hall and attending classes far away from the familiar comfort of high school.
That was until she and her mother, Terri Rivera, drove up to the Loped-up volunteers.
“I’m no longer anxious. The nerves are gone,” she said. “I watched the video, but it doesn’t come close to capturing this warmth.”
Grace Beebe, a junior secondary education major from Redding, Calif., considers Move-In a GCU circle-of-life experience. She volunteered Monday as a way to give back to those who helped her move in three years ago.
“It makes such a difference for these freshmen to see all our smiling faces at 7 a.m.,” she said. “I remember it well. When I arrived as a freshman, I didn’t know anyone. Now I feel I know everyone, and I attribute that to the greeting I got as a freshman. The smiles make a difference.”
She also knows that rolling out the “purple carpet” appeals to the parents as well.
“We are a well-oiled machine that helps parents when they are giving away their kids to GCU,” she said.
Dan and Mary Fisher, of Chula Vista, Calif., stood outside Juniper Hall watching a sea of purple move their only child, Dylan, a computer science major, moved into his room.
“It’s so comforting to us to know that he is in this Christian environment where students lend a hand to each other,” Dan said.
The revved-up experience never gets old for students or their parents. Sophomore Hannah Lenthall, a forensic science major from Simi Valley, Calif., said the cheering purple mass is “just as exciting as last year.”
Her mother, Tricia Lenthall, said, “I still got goosebumps when they called out her name. There’s really nothing like moving in at GCU.”
Contact Karen Fernau at (602) 639-8344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.