(Source: Brittany Hoover Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Texas (MCT) — Lubbock Christian University freshman Hailey Vaughn didn’t realize the university president was carrying her things up to her new dorm room.
First-year president Tim Perrin was just one of a crowd of strangers who helped the Lubbockite move into her new home in Katie Rogers Hall.
“It was really nice,” she said. “My dad said it just happened really fast, and then the car was empty.”
Vaughn said three people helped carry things up and two others helped move her bed. Before arriving to LCU campus Wednesday morning, she wasn’t aware of the tradition.
LCU faculty, staff, athletes and upperclassmen are encouraged to help with freshmen move in each year.
“I didn’t know that was the president,” she said. “It was nice of him to help. I appreciate it. It’s nice I got to meet him. He introduced himself and said he’s glad for me to be here.”
Perrin said it’s a great tradition for the LCU community to come together and embrace the new freshmen. Wednesday morning he carried pillows, clothes, lamps and boxes for women in Katie Rogers Hall.
There’s a certain anxiety and uncertainty that comes with starting college, Perrin said, and he enjoys meeting the parents and chatting with the first-time college students.
“(When I first heard of the tradition), I thought it was cool. I thought it was so cool,” Perrin said. “It’s a great way to embody values that everybody in the community has and step up and help out.”
The president’s wife and LCU graduate, Lucy Perrin, also carried her share of boxes into the residence hall. The Perrins wouldn’t have it any other way, she said.
Lucy Perrin said she moved into the same hall more than 20 years ago. She knows she lived on the second floor, but couldn’t quite remember which room.
She said she not only can relate to the students moving in, but also to the parents.
“I can so relate. I sent two kids to college myself, and it’s such a fun time,” she said. “They’re ready. They’re so ready to have this experience, but there’s a little bit of uncertainty. They don’t know who their friends are going to be for sure. There’s a lot of expectation, a lot of promise. It’s a fun time.”
Randal Dement, assistant vice president for student affairs, said he has helped with the move in for about 12 years.
One of the best parts is seeing the faces of dads light up when they realize they will get help unloading a full trailer.
The university encouraged faculty to help out during their conferences Tuesday and Wednesday morning.
“They would always help, but making it a part of faculty conferences has been really cool,” Dement said. “I think a lot of faculty members who wouldn’t otherwise get to experience it, now they wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
Professor of chemistry and LCU graduate Julie Marshall said she enjoyed seeing former classmates bring their children to the university. Back then, upperclassmen helped freshmen move in, she said.
She introduces herself to the freshmen and asks if they are in her class.
“I think a lot of schools want to welcome their students,” she said. “Professors here are close to their students, so we just want to meet them and get the year off to a good start.”
LCU basketball player Haley Burton also helped students carry up boxes.
The junior said she could easily relate to those new to campus.
“The basketball team comes every year to help out with the freshmen,” she said. “I think it’s just a good thing for the freshmen to see some different groups that are involved on campus come and help them move in.”
Roommates Whalen Garza and Alvin Maynah also received assistance from LCU faculty and staff as they moved into Johnson Hall.
The freshmen said about seven people helped Garza, including a dean, and about five helped Maynah, including President Perrin.
“(I knew about the tradition), but I was still surprised,” Garza said. “Just everyone was asking to help out.”
His dad, Anthony Garza, said the family had sent off their older children to college and had never experienced hospitality like at LCU. It was a pleasant surprise, he said.
Maynah said the experience was unique.
“All the different people — that was surprising knowing the president was helping us,” he said. “It’s definitely something new. It’s very cool I met the president on the first day.”
LCU classes begin Monday.
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