Excitement abounds as 4,300 UD freshmen arrive on campus
Thousands of freshmen moved into University of Delaware dorms on Saturday, embarking on the first steps of their college careers.
“It’s shocking, but I’m really excited,” Kailyn Broughton, an incoming freshman from Middletown, said as she set up her dorm room in the new South Academy Street Residence Hall. “I can’t wait.”
The Appoquinimink High School graduate is majoring in biology with the ultimate goal of going to medical school. She said she was excited to meet new people and get to know her professors.
However, Saturday was bittersweet for Broughton’s parents, grandmother and younger brother, all of whom were helping her move in.
“It’s a sad day, but a good day,” dad Jeffrey said. “We’re excited she chose UD. She’s close to home but still has independence.”
Broughton joins approximately 4,330 other students in what is UD’s largest freshman class in history. About 4,000 of those freshmen are living in dorms, while the rest live in the area and will commute to school.
Upperclassmen will move in Sunday and Monday, and by the end of Monday, a total of 5,700 students will have moved in on campus. Thousands more are returning to off-campus housing.
UD President Dennis Assanis and his wife, Eleni, spent Saturday in the residence halls, greeting incoming students.
“It’s very exciting, beyond belief,” Assanis said as he stood in the lobby of the South Academy Street dorm. “It’s glorious weather — a good move-in day.”
Upstairs, nursing major Nicolette Cole was settling into her new dorm room.
“It’s crazy,” the Brick, N.J., native said. “It still hasn’t hit me yet.”
Cole looked at several colleges but quickly decided on UD after visiting the campus.
“I just fell in love with it,” she said. “The campus is beautiful, it’s the perfect size and there are so many opportunities to get involved.”
Cole is excited — for “literally everything,” she said — but her family was a little more conflicted.
“My mom shed a few tears on the way in,” she said.
Cole and her roommate, fellow nursing major Marisa Probst, met each other through Facebook and had a chance to meet up over the summer.
Probst, from Flemington, N.J., said it was nice to arrive and see a friendly face.
“I wasn’t really nervous because I knew Nicolette,” she said, adding she’s looking forward to meeting more new people. “There’s a lot of opportunities to have new experiences here.”
Noah Hetrick, of Newark, is majoring in biology and minoring in marine biology and Japanese. He chose that unique combination because he wants to go to Japan to research how radiation from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster is affecting the ocean.
After growing up a stone’s throw from campus, the Delcastle High School graduate said choosing UD was easy.
“I always had a feeling I’d end up going here,” Hetrick said. “I looked at other schools but quickly set my sights on here.”
That was welcome news for his parents, Jennifer and Dave Garrett.
“I feel comfortable with him here,” Jennifer said, joking that she can stop by and visit whenever she wants. “I might not even cry. I though I would, but I might not.”
“It’s a proud time,” Dave added. “He finally gets out on his own and sees how the real world works.”
Incoming University of Delaware freshmen moved into their dorms Saturday morning with help from family members and student volunteers called Blue Hen Helpers.
Noah Hetrick, an incoming University of Delaware freshman from Newark, poses with his family in his dorm room in the South Academy Street Residence Hall on Saturday.