Catawba College students move in

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 13, 2011

By Emily Ford
SALISBURY — After moving three children into the residence halls at Catawba College, father Allen McMillan should be an expert.
Trouble is, the first two McMillan kids to attend Catawba were boys.
“With the guys, it was all about the TV and fridge,” Allen said.
On Saturday, daughter Leslie became the newest McMillan at Catawba, and Allen spent a good part of the day hanging mirrors, adjusting lamps and hauling jewel-toned throw pillows that complemented Leslie’s black-and-white comforter.
Which coordinated with roommate Ellen Stout’s comforter.
“It was definitely more about decorating,” Allen said. “Last night, she had half the living room full of stuff to move in.”
Leslie even did a three-week dry run, outfitting one of her family’s guest rooms in their Salisbury home with dorm linens, pillows and other accessories to see how she liked them.
“I would tell them, ‘I’m going to the dorm room,’ ” Leslie said.
The purchases won her approval. Leslie, a new Catawba cheerleader, and mom Cindy McMillan didn’t return a single item.
Leslie is one of 731 students who will live on campus this fall, filling the residence halls to capacity. Last year, 642 students lived on campus, spokeswoman Tonia Black-Gold said.
Tuition remains $25,160. With room and board costing $8,700, the price tag to attend Catawba totals $33,866.
Sarah Rossini, assistant dean of students and Residence Life director, said although there were a few bumps on move-in day, such as a temporary air-conditioning outage in the Cannon Student Center, everything went smoothly.
Residence assistants had just completed a week of training with “The Few, The Proud” as the theme. When her phone rang to the tune of “Danger Zone,” she knew immediately it was one of her RAs calling.
“There are always a few students with allergies or medical issues that we needed to attend to when we make housing assignments, but nothing out of the ordinary this year,” Rossini said. “One of the funniest things I’ve heard was a request for a room with a view.”
Some students had already staked their claims on campus earlier in the week, including athletes, resident assistants and members of the Catawba Pride Marching Band. Remaining upperclassmen will move in between now and the first day of classes on Wednesday.
On Saturday, upperclassmen called Alphas wore orange t-shirts and helped freshmen families carry belongings from vehicles to rooms.
By noon, Rachel Cone had been volunteering for four hours and still hadn’t seen a single weepy parent or student.
“I’m sure when it’s time to let go, there will be some teary eyes,” Cone said.
Kevin and Hope Jones were a little apprehensive about leaving son Jadan, their only child. The Cary family said they chose Catawba for its beautiful campus and small class size.
“We’re excited and nervous, just like he is,” Hope Jones said.
Sandy Fesperman said she had mixed emotions about sending daughter Kim to college and is thankful she’s close by in Kannapolis. Kim and roommate Michaela Boyd of Concord will play softball for Catawba and met on Facebook before meeting in person on Saturday.
As their parents worked to find a place for everything in the small room, the girls’ bins and boxes kept arriving.
“Here’s my hair stuff,” said Michaela, carrying a large basket filled entirely with hair products.
Luckily, mom Dawn Boyd had just discovered a second closet.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.