August 17, 2014 9:30AM
Freshman Justice Burks, from Kansas City, Mo., was the first to arrive in his room in Nation Hall, Saturday. As his mother helped him unpack, Justice said he was eager to meet his roommate, who he had only spoken with on the phone.
“He seemed really nice, so I think it’s going to be good,” Burks said.
Saturday was Move-In Day for the majority of the more than 1,200 students who will live in Pittsburg State University’s residence halls this fall. Throughout the day, a steady stream of students, parents and siblings carted in boxes and bags. PSU’s newest Gorillas got their keys from PSU Housing staff and quickly began making their rooms feel like home.
Burks said he was both excited and a little nervous on that first day away from home.
“I’m anxious to see what it’s all about,” Burks said.
If he needed any reassurance, it was just a few doors down the hall where Henry Bell, a sophomore from Overland Park, Kan., was already settled into his room.
“I’m so excited!” Bell said with a broad smile. “I can’t wait!”
Bell is a member of the PSU track and field team, something he shares with Justice Burks. Within minutes of Burks’ arrival, he and Bell were visiting in the hallway.
PSU President Steve Scott, who spent part of the afternoon as the volunteer Move-In Crew, said these kinds of interactions are vitally important as students begin their college careers.
“We know that the relationships students build with each other and with faculty and staff are keys to their ultimate success in college,” Scott said. “Pittsburg State does a great job of helping foster and nurture that process.”
In addition to welcoming students and helping them cart in their belongings, Scott visited with parents, answered their questions and sometimes reassured them when they expressed anxiety.
Some, like Sabrina Burks, were sending off their youngest child.
“I’m an empty-nester, now,” she said.
For others, often with younger children in tow, it was the first time to have a child leave home.
“This is a big day; an exciting day; an anxious day,” Scott said. “It is the beginning of a great adventure.”
McKenzie Williams, a freshman from Springdale, Ark., receives her room keys from Haley Reynolds. McKenzie with the help of her mother, Beth, (Center) moved into Nation Hall Saturday.
Faculty member and Move-In Day volunteer Randy Winzer, gives directions to a family as more than 1,200 Gorillas move in to PSU's residence halls, Saturday.