The showers came and went all morning, but they didn’t seem to bother anyone—and actually cooled off the many student, faculty and staff volunteers who descended upon each car as it pulled up to the freshman dorms in the steamy August heat.
Gently nudging parents and their students aside, the Move Crew volunteers—upperclass students and University employees dressed in bright green shirts—snatched up the boxes, bags, suitcases and the occasional loose lamp and shade, and hauled it all up to the rooms for the students.
Parents loved it: “This is great,” said Henry Kreutzinger of Indianapolis, whose son, Henry, was moving into Brockman Hall. One Move Crew student named Scott, trying to keep cool, painted his torso green to resemble the crew’s T-shirts.
“There’s camaraderie right out of the gate, and that’s good,” Kreutzinger said.
Henry the younger is one of the 774 freshmen who enrolled this year, 90 percent of whom moved into dormitories on Friday. Though smaller than last year, the Class of 2009 continues the trend of each class being smarter than the year before. This group of students averaged a 3.60 grade point average in high school, and 35 percent were ranked in the top 10 percent of their class, while 24 students actually ranked No. 1.
They also come from all over: 51 percent are from outside Ohio, representing 33 states and eight countries, including Myanmar, Nepal, Uzbekistan, Japan and Jamaica. Women outnumber men 57 percent to 43 percent, and, like last year’s record high, 17 percent are minorities.
Leslie Freeman is one such student. A graduate of a Jesuit high school, the San Francisco resident chose Xavier for two reasons: her majors—athletic training and theology—and a full-tuition scholarship. “I only applied to Jesuit schools,” she said.
But there’s something else special about Leslie, said her mother, Yolanda Freeman. “She’s the first in the family on both sides to go to college. So it’s like everyone is supporting her.”
Now she’s waiting for her roommate from Belize to show up, after arranging her room with orange crate shelving, a 20-inch TV and a laptop computer. The roommate was supposed to have moved in several days early, but she hadn’t arrived by mid-morning Friday. Leslie said if she doesn’t come, she hopes the University assigns her someone else because she really doesn’t want to be in a room by herself.
Down the hall in Room 121, Megan Haughney from Waukesha, Wis., and her roommate Erika Bresee from Memphis, Tenn., stood with their mothers in their room jammed with boxes of color-coordinated pink and yellow things. They planned it this way. When they met during orientation, they became friends so quickly that they decided to be roommates. Even their mothers, Megan Bresee and Lisa Haughney, became friends during orientation in May. The girls spent the rest of the summer deciding who would bring what—Meg brought the TV, Erika the fridge.
“It kind of was meant to be,” said Lisa Haughney. “After they bought a couple hundred dollars of coordinated stuff together at orientation, they decided they’d better request to be roommates.”
Up one floor in Brockman, the boys were busy stuffing drawers, hanging clothes in closets and setting shelves upon their desks. Gabriel Goliath got a hand from his older brother with his shelves.
Goliath’s family is from Charleston, W.Va., although his mom, Thelma, is originally from the Dominican Republic and his father’s parents are Cuban. He chose Xavier after receiving a good scholarship offer, though he had wanted to go to the University of Notre Dame with his brother. But he wasn’t accepted there, and when he visited Xavier, he said, “It looked exactly like Notre Dame but a little smaller.” And that was enough for him.
Out on the residential mall, a Yellow Cab wended its way out of the line of waiting cars and on up the brick drive. Out jumped Lauren King, and out of the trunk came three black suitcases and overstuffed duffels. She just flew in from Naples, Fla.
“My mom is meeting me here this afternoon,” she said sheepishly eyeing the cars carrying mostly students and their parents. “I was in Florida for the summer. It’s a long story.” And she dashed up the steps after her bags.
Parents and students spent the rest of the day attending the events of Manresa 2005—taking tours of campus, visiting the parent pit-stop at the Gallagher Student Center, attending meetings and workshops, and gathering information about all the different services available on campus. At 3:15 p.m. they heard an address from University President Michael J. Graham, S.J., at the Cintas Center.