Water station tents were erected near the bustling freshmen dorms with school staffers handing out lots of water and also specially branded Miami tissue packs to help parents dab away tears as they left their now-collegiate teens behind.
“We are offering tissues for the moms for the ride home,” said one of the many Miami volunteers who helped welcome 3,954 first-year students from 41 states and 22 countries to the campus.
Annette Lloyd of Springfield, Ohio, shared a once-in-a-lifetime moment with her daughter as they unlocked and entered her dorm room home for the school year, which begins Monday.
“She is ready for a new chapter and to become independent,” said Lloyd of her daughter Kelsey. “Miami is an amazing school.’”
The freshman, who along with 19,700 other undergraduates and graduate students begins classes Monday, was pleasantly surprised by the two-bunk bed dorm room lit by sunlight through a tall window.
“It’s not as small as I expected so that’s good,” said Kelsey.
“Everyone seems really nice and helpful,” she said.
Claire Wagner, spokeswoman for Miami, said “move-in day carries high excitement and emotion as new students arrive to begin their college careers. With current student groups, staff and community members helping them move in, they get an early feel of being a part of the Miami family.”
The school also has two regional campuses in Hamilton and Middletown, which together enroll 5,000 students. Miami University is the largest employer in Butler County.
Among the hundreds of school volunteers generating a positive vibe Thursday was Renate Crawford, wife of Miami President Gregory Crawford and an adjunct professor of physics.
She greeted hundreds of families on the busy move-in day.
In their three-years as Miami’s power couple the Crawfords have made it their practice to be out and about on the day, making sure the “Welcome to the Miami Family” signs dotting the campus are backed up with personal interaction.
It’s fun and it never gets old, said Crawford.
“This is so exciting … to see the families come in and it’s just so cool to be part of that,” she said as parents unpacked nearby family cars.
The first-day excitement “doesn’t wane” at day’s end, said Crawford.
“It’s not just the excitement we feel on this first day, but it lasts all semester long, all year long and the entire Miami experience and it’s really an honor to be part of that,” she said.