Unseasonably cool weather and overcast skies greeted approximately 1,500 incoming freshmen as they moved into residence halls on The University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg campus Friday, August 16 to begin the fall 2013 semester and the next chapter in their lives.
University employees and students, along with community members, welcomed the new students and their parents while also helping them move into their rooms in Century Park, Wilber Hall, Roberts Hall and Jones Hall. More freshmen as well as returning upperclassmen will arrive in the days leading up to the beginning of classes Wednesday, August 21.
“Everything is going smoothly and we’re enjoying ideal weather today,” said Scott Blackwell, director of Student Housing Administration. “We’re getting a lot of great support from our staff and community members to help these students move in, as well as from University Police and Parking Management in managing the flow of traffic on campus.”
Harrison Gerald of Diamondhead, Miss. was among the freshmen moving into Century Park Friday. He plans to major in chemistry with an emphasis area in polymer science. “It’s been hectic this morning, but I’m excited and ready to go,” he said.
Among those greeting the students and helping move their belongings into their rooms was Southern Miss President Rodney Bennett. As he met the incoming freshman Friday, Bennett “planted the seed” for their progress toward obtaining their degree.
“I’m telling them that at the end of their journey here, I want to see them on that stage at commencement and hand them their diploma,” he said.
Another incoming freshman, Cole Maddox of Mobile, Ala., also plans to study polymer science at Southern Miss. Donning a Southern Miss cap and a Superman T-shirt, he reflected on the new adventure ahead of him as he waited his turn to move into Century Park.
“It’s tough moving away from home, and but I know I’m going to love it here,” Maddox said.