UM freshmen receive warm welcome on move-in day

By STEPHANIE BRUMFIELD / Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO – Dozens of University of Montevallo students, alumni, faculty and staff bore the brunt of summer heat and humidity Aug. 23 as they helped the incoming freshman class unload boxes and get settled into their dormitories.

Not only were freshman greeted by an unending slew of movers; they were also greeted with music, free water and T-shirts.

Junior Jared Elrod said he helps every year as a member of his fraternity, ATO.

“We do it every year,” Elrod said. “It’s a tradition, and it’s a good way to meet kids and their parents. A lot of kids don’t think about rushing, and it’s a good way to introduce it to them.”

Many students remember being helped when they were freshman, including sophomore Jonathan Cannon.

“It’s the biggest help I’ve ever had,” Cannon said. “They swarm it. You spend hours loading your car, and then you have everything moved in within 10 minutes.”

Katie Skinner, an incoming freshman, said she had been on campus for about 15 minutes when everything was unloaded and already in her room.

“I was (expecting to be helped), but not for them to take everything,” she said.

Parents Joel and Sherry Gilmore said their experience moving their daughter to Montevallo has been completely unlike any other college moving experience they’ve had so far.

“It’s wonderful,” Joel Gilmore said. “We were told not to touch anything. This is my daughter’s freshman year, and it’s a really good experience for us.”

Several UM faculty and staff were also involved in the annual tradition.

Faculty member Sarah Smith said, “It’s just a fun thing to do. It’s what makes Montevallo, Montevallo.”

UM alumni and staff member Sharon Gilbert said she decided to help because when she was in school, they didn’t have anything like this.

“We used to have a saying, ‘This is the warmest welcome in the South.’ This is their new home away from home, and we give them that impression,” Gilbert said.