Thursday marked a major milestone in more than 1,500 young lives — a step away from home and into life at the University of Wyoming.
By the end of Sunday, more than 1,750 students are expected to occupy the five residence halls by the first day of the 2016 school year, many of them first-time university students.
“About 400 are returning students,” said Eric Webb, director of residence life and dining services. “The rest are all freshmen.”
Moving hundreds of students into five adjacent buildings in one day can make for a hectic time for everyone, but 80 volunteers are helping smooth out the process as best they can.
“They’re a huge help,” Webb said. “They’re helping students unload and carry things all day. They really make this event.”
Kurt and Heather Edwards from Casper helped move their son Taylor into Downey Hall, marking their first time moving a child into a college dorm.
“So far, it’s been way easier than what I thought it was going to be,” Kurt Edwards said. “Having all these guys help us park and move — it’s really nice. I thought it’d just be us carrying load after load.”
As he stood in a long line of students swarming the front desk for keys, Taylor Edwards had a little different experience.
“I kind of expected it to be hectic,” he said. “There’s just so many people moving in, and it’s about what I expected. I’m a little nervous, but I’m very excited.”
Fred Kossack was a little more nervous — he will be nearly 5,000 miles from his home in Portugal.
“My dad works for (General Electric), so a lot of his friends recommended it out here,” he said. “I had no idea what to expect. It’s very different to Portugal.”
Kossack visited campus once before Thursday’s move when deciding between UW and the University of Utah.
“The scholarship and area pushed me here,” he said.
UW President Laurie Nichols also went out and met students moving in.
“I’m so impressed — it’s so well laid out and organized,” she said. “The hubbub of activity and energy is just great.”
This week was Nichols’ first time really interacting with UW students — her first day was a couple weeks after spring graduation.
“This is what I live for,” she said. “I love working with students. For me, it’s exciting to have the students back on campus, and I’m excited to now be able to start to meet some of them, especially incoming freshmen, and letting them know who their president is.”