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UMW freshmen move in, with gadgets in tow

Roommates Daniel Gibson, 18, of Winchester, and Nolan Gilbert, 18, of Annandale, moved into their Jefferson Hall dorm room at the University of Mary Washington Friday. 

They didn’t spend their move-in time decorating. Instead, they were busy plugging in and setting up their television, PlayStation 3 and stocking the minifridge.

Gibson’s parents, Kirk and Linda Gibson, and Gilbert’s mother, Jana Gilbert, said their college move-in days were very different.

The Gibsons, who both attended Randolph–Macon College in Ashland, said the only items they brought to college were clothes and a six-inch television that had poor reception.

Jana Gilbert said she only brought clothes to James Madison University.

“It’s a lot easier now, too,” Kirk Gibson said. “There are people to help move in.”

As of Aug. 19, 970 first-time freshmen were registered with UMW.

Some students moved in early to participate in specialized orientation groups and learning communities, but most of the freshman population moved into their dorms—Bushnell, Jefferson, Randolph, Russell, Virginia and Alvey—Friday.

An additional 347 transfer students are new to UMW this fall.

The class of 2014 is made up of students from 24 states and 12 foreign countries, and more than 90 percent will live in campus housing.

About 3,000 returning students come back to Fredericksburg between Thursday and Sunday.

Before classes start on Monday Aug. 26, the freshmen will have attended presentations on university life, an honor convocation and the annual ice cream social with the president on the lawn of his home, Brompton.

Hannah Somers, a junior resident assistant at UMW, helped freshman move into Jefferson Hall. For two weeks, she and the other resident assistants went through training and decorated the halls for move-in day.

She said that her residents brought “anything with Wi-Fi and Keurig coffee makers” to their dorms. She even saw one freshman with a fully equipped entertainment center.

Maddie Lemelin, 18, of Warrenton, met President Rick Hurley, his chief of staff Marty Wilder and UMW mascot Sammy D. Eagle while setting up her first-floor Jefferson Hall room.

Lemelin originally planned on going to college in New York, but when financing to attend school out of state fell through, she said UMW came along “like a miracle.”

The school extended admissions deadlines this year and accepted applications through the summer. She applied in June.

“I was amazed that I got in,” she told Hurley.

Her mother Barbara Matthews said, “It was very nice they came out on the first day. It makes everyone feel welcome.”

Lemelin said she needed to bring a coffee pot and cushy bedding so she can watch Netflix comfortably on her laptop.

Her father, Church Matthews, went to West Point and said he didn’t have a choice of items to bring.

Colton Hall and Max Taylor, both 18-year-old Stafford High School graduates, didn’t travel far from home to attend college, but they made sure to equip their room with a television, speakers and all of their musical instruments.

“If I ever need anything I’m not far from home,” Taylor said.

Taylor’s mother, Kim Crosslin, said when she was his age, her books were the only things she had to have around.

Hall’s mother, Rhonda Schenck, said her only must-have item was Colton.

When she attended college at Northern Kentucky University, he was a newborn. She said they lived across the street from the college.

Hannah Yonce, 18, of Fluvanna, and Juliette Zadrazil, 18, of Chesapeake, said they didn’t need a ton of gadgets like other people on their hall. They were more interested in decorating the room with Yonce’s favorite animal, elephants, and lots of twinkle lights.

“Everyone is really helpful,” Zadrazil said.

“I only carried one thing into the room,” Yonce added.

An aspiring teacher, Yonce said she chose UMW for their five-year master’s program in education.

Zadrazil hopes to major in biology.

They both said one of the major draws to the school was the lack of Greek life.

Roommates on the third floor of Virginia Hall, Isabelle Perrin, 18, of Mountainside N.J., and Abigale Wuepper, 17, of Fredericksburg, had completely moved in by 10:30 a.m.

Wuepper, who hopes to major in computer science, had her computer and accessories set up under her lofted bed.

Perrin’s favorite item in their room was the fan.

“It’s hot,” she said. “But moving in is a lot easier than you think.”

Lindley Estes: 540/735-1976