By Nancy R. Elliott
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON — The leaves were starting to turn along University Avenue. The main campus of Anderson University still had that sleepy feeling on Thursday, but approaching Colts Way, the mood changed entirely.
There was the low thump of the band’s drum beat. The sound of Mumford and Sons, punctuated by the occasional blast of a vuvuzela, blared. You might have found yourself ducking for a Frisbee.
“This is just a great day to move in, people!” shouted junior Bizzy Weinland. She was sporting a neon security vest to help steer dazed parents into unloading spots.
Weinland was among a throng of orange-shirted volunteers, including members of the AU football team, faculty, staff and students, who staged themselves between Dunn and Rice residence halls along Colts Way. They were busily welcoming the new residents.
“This is a great time of year — one of my favorite moments of the school year,” said AU communications director Chris Williams. “It’s a community experience.”
Another mini-van pulled in loaded up with all the paraphernalia of dorm life, a nervously excited student, and a beleaguered looking parent. Within moments of their tired arrival, the van was swarmed by orange shirts who quickly unloaded the contents onto the lawn, and then delivered it all to the dorm room.
It was a scene that was repeated over and over with bedding, duffel bags, refrigerators, speakers, lamps, printers, snack food, TV’s, bicycles, backpacks and rubber totes wending their way from the parking area into the halls.
“I love the look on parents’ faces when they pull in exhausted and we huddle around the car and say, ‘Where do you want this?’” said volunteer and 1974 grad George Nailywaiko. “Sometimes mom bursts into tears.”
Amy Byrne from Indianapolis stood by her daughter’s pile of belongings as she got checked in. Once freshman Marni Byrne had her room assignment, she and mom just stood back as AU football players whisked her stash away.
“I brought my life with me,” Marni said, left holding her meinl rainstick.
There are about 500 incoming freshmen, 41 percent of whom are male, and 59 percent female. The majority hail from the Midwest, but in all, 29 states are represented by the new students. Eleven countries are represented by international students.
Members of the class of 2017 affiliate with no less than 36 Christian denominations.
Don’t look for slackers in this crowd with an average GPA of 3.35, and an average SAT score of 1070. Most of them are likely to choose majors like business, nursing, music, psychology, education and pre-health programs.
As Williams happily looked about at all the commotion of move-in day, he noted, “It’s a great beginning."
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You'll find it in an AU dorm Stuff spotted heading into residence halls Thursday A case of Ramen noodles Basketball hoop Guitar hero Bright pink baseball bat Fantasy football trophy Drum set Coloring book with crayons String lights Vuvuzela Skateboard Inspirational posters Full-length mirror Anderson University Calendar Here are key dates in the 2013-14 AU school year Sept. 3: Classes begin Oct. 26: Homecoming games vs. Earlham Dec. 20-Jan. 15: Holiday break May 8, 2014: Last day of school year May 10: Baccalaureate and Commencement For more information, go to www.anderson.edu