Volunteers assist 2,500 new MTSU students move in

Pumped up by a medley of tunes performed by the MTSU Band of Blue pep band and bolstered by a multitude of on- and off-campus volunteers, more than 1,500 new freshmen — part of 2,500-plus students altogether — moved into campus residence halls Friday (Aug. 23).

The well-oiled machine is officially called We-Haul, MTSU Center for Student Involvement and Leadership’s organized event to help new and returning students and their families move into campus housing at Cummings and Corlew halls and other residence facilities.

The We-Haul effort, which includes volunteers from campus ministries, fraternities and sororities, the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center, ROTC cadets and a small army from Belle-Aire Baptist Church and others, continues from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, though students will be moving in the entire day.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee again greeted, welcomed and supported the newcomers’ efforts to move their belongings from vehicles to areas where volunteers would assist them into the dorm.

“What an impressive and organized effort by everyone — parents, all of the volunteers and our MTSU staff — on such a hot and humid day,” McPhee said.

Brought to campus by parents Sherry and John Ratliff, freshman Madison Ratliff, 18, of Bristol, Tennessee, said everything was “going good so far. I’m excited.” The Tennessee High School graduate and MTSU early childhood education major said she was looking forward “to meeting new people and having a new experience.”

Jessika Medford, 18, of Clarksville, Tennessee, a Clarksville High graduate who will major in forensic science at MTSU, said the move-in experience “is a little hectic, but it’s exciting … I’m looking forward to the dinner and carnival tonight.” She was joined by her mother, Michelle Medford, and sister, Jada Medford, 16.

Jackie Victory, director of MTSU Leadership and Service, said she once again appreciates “the great number of volunteers” helping with the move. “Belle-Aire, fraternities and sororities and at least 10 campus ministries are assisting. I’m told we have 2,500 needing to be moved in. And I’m thankful it’s not too terribly hot and raining.”

The new freshmen (Class of 2023) will attend University Convocation at 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, in Murphy Center to hear a talk by author Tara Westover, who wrote “Educated: A Memoir,” the 2019 Summer Reading Program selection. The annual President’s Picnic in Floyd Stadium for new students and their families will follow Convocation.

MTSU Athletics Fan Day will begin at 7:15 p.m. in Floyd Stadium after the picnic. The event is open to the public and will feature the band The Respectables and more.

MTSU classes will begin Monday, Aug. 26, with a number of special events planned to welcome students to campus. The university offers more than 300 combined undergraduate and graduate programs.

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