Blackburn students return for fall semester

Blackburn students return for fall semester

Blackburn faculty and staff applaud as incoming students are led into Clegg Chapel during the Matriculation Ceremony, marking the transition from childhood to adulthood.

Blackburn faculty and staff applaud as incoming students are led into Clegg Chapel during the Matriculation Ceremony, marking the transition from childhood to adulthood.

By Rick Wade
Move-in day at Blackburn College had the commotion, the heavy clutter of baggage, tearful good-byes, hugs and excited chatter of a journey getting under way.

“They are embarking on a voyage,” said Heidi Heinz, Dean of Students.

Aug. 18, as around her swirled the activity of what she called “a one-stop location for check in.”

“Here is where students begin the process of making sure their student life paperwork is all taken care of, residence hall keys over there, pick up parking passes, get a library card, be introduced to the Academic Resource Center, then from here they are sent out with their residence keys to check in,” she said, explaining the various checkpoints around the lobby of the Demuzio Campus Center.

“Over there are members of our alumni board, passing out homemade cookies and some giveaways,” she said. “We also have a group of alumni —  the Beaver Brigade — helping students unpack their cars and move in as well.”

Alisha Kapp, Director of Admissions, Blackburn is expecting about 175-180 new students this year.

“The students are absolutely excited,” she said. “There’s a little anxiousness as well. We have some students coming from quite far away, from California, State of Washington. They are a bit more anxious because this is their first time on campus. A lot of our relationships with students are conducted long distance. So it’s a good-sized group for whom this is their first time at Blackburn College.”

New roommates Courtney Stone, left, and Alexis Mayes take a break in their dorm room from unpacking on move-in day at Blackburn College.

New roommates Courtney Stone, left, and Alexis Mayes take a break in their dorm room from unpacking on move-in day at Blackburn College.

New tradition

According to Pete Oswald, Blackburn public relations spokesman, this year’s freshmen experienced a new rite of passage for the first time ever that afternoon.

“It’s called a Matriculation Ceremony. It’s a very physical thing, of the students being called to enter Hudson Hall, and go up to Klegg Chapel for a ceremony just for them,” Oswald explained. “But it is also a point of departure for parents … they will be involved by watching the ceremony, but once the students enter the building, they’ve started their college life and parents may then go home.”

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