Videos are nice, but seeing Move-In is believing

August 21, 2017 / by / 1 Comment

Volunteers at Move-In know how to have a good time, and that spirit is transmitted to the arriving students and their parents. (Photo by Slaven Gujic)

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.

The cars just keep coming through on the first day of Move-In. (Photo by Slaven Gujic)

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.

The volunteers are hard at work all morning … (Photo by Slaven Gujic)

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.

… but there’s still time for a little fun. (Photo by Travis Neely)

“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 [email protected].



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One Response
  1. Linda Siegel

    First Impression!!! WOW…This was Epic…..
    We had no idea what to expect. I can not thank all of you in person. I wish I could!! The smile on my son face is pure happiness! Sending your first child to college is bittersweet… Trusting God is leading you in the right direction of your child’s heart… GCU you are it!! First question I was asked: Why GCU? Because this is who my son truly is inside & out mind & soul. When you know it’s right…. you feel calm and peaceful which makes letting go much easier. Excited to see How God continues to mold our son into the man he wants him to be! So blessed and truly thankful to be walking with the big guy and having this opportunity to being part of the Lope family….

    Aug.22.2017 at 10:52 am
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