UNCP welcomes freshmen to campus


Loaded trucks, trailers, vans and cars jammed campus streets and parking lots, and parents sweated under heavy loads August 20 as freshmen moved into their residence halls at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

That was the scene at 8 a.m., and before noon, many of the 800 freshmen members of the Class of 2008 successfully moved in.

 Thomas Thrower

Thomas Thrower and son David of Raleigh pick up keys

"Fresh is not the word for me right now," said Thomas Thrower, who left Raleigh at 6 a.m. to bring his son David. "Yes, I've been looking forward to this day."

Pat Canape, who brought her son Todd from Fredricksburg, Va., had only one question.

"Where is this Givens place where we pick up room keys?" Canape said. "No, we did not forget anything."

Apparently that's one worry that parents don't suffer. The Canapes spent the night in Lumberton across the street from Wal-Mart.

Rich Goodin, who was caught resting with a load of computer equipment in front of Wellons Residence Hall, said nothing was left behind in Raleigh.

"We just sort of cleaned out my son's room," Goodin said.

Christy Strickland, who came with husband Johnny and daughter Amanda from nearby Lumberton said the family encountered one problem.

"We brought three cars full, and there's only one-half of a room to put it all in," Christy said.

Spirits and emotions ran high.

Chien San 

Chien San and son Eric arrive from Raleigh

"No, he's not our first to go to college, but he's the baby," said Helen Green, who accompanied her son, Ryan, from Jacksonville, N.C. "It's still hard."

Chien San, of Raleigh, was proud to stand next to his son Eric for a photograph.

"I am first generation," Eric said. "They thought I should try a smaller college."

The 800 freshmen may be the largest class in UNCP history, said Jackie Clark, vice chancellor for Enrollment Management.

"This is a good looking class," Clark said. "It is going really well today, thanks in part to a lot of great volunteer help."

Due to UNCP's rapid enrollment growth in the past five years, student housing on campus has exploded to record levels, said Preston Swiney, dean of students.

"We just completed two apartment units in phase two of University Village this summer, and it appears that we will set another record for occupancy," Dean Swiney said.

 Ida Baker

Ida Baker, class of 1985 (right), gives pizza to Nichelle Gaines, class of 2008

Following the move-in Friday morning, the freshmen consumed 71 free pizzas from the Alumni Association. Helping out with the pizza part was Floyd Locklear, class of 1986, and Ida Baker, a 1985 graduate.

"I love the energy, and telling people what a great place this is," Baker said.

As Baker, a Pembroke attorney, watched students carry refrigerators, TVs, computers and microwaves, she was reminded of another day.

"We didn't even have phones in our rooms," Baker laughed. "We had Pac-man in the game room, but no bowling."

Freshmen faced a full schedule of meetings and greetings during their first weekend. Upperclassmen moved in on Sunday, and classes begin on Monday, August 23.

And another school year is underway.