Move-In Day is a special day for students as they begin their college life. It's both exciting and nerve-racking. While first-year students like the idea of newfound independence, being away from family can be unsettling and stressful.
For first-year students arriving on August 15 at Meredith College -- a women's college located in Raleigh, NC -- any moving woes quickly disappeared as they were zealously welcomed by the college community. President Jo Allen, students, faculty, staff, and alumnae all took part as the college rolled out the red carpet. Meredith College knows that success at college is enhanced when a student feels part of the college community, and so the school begins the year by enthusiastically welcoming each student on Move-In Day. See for yourself as you watch Meredith's 2015 Move-In Day video.
With a new Welcome Angel, Move-In Day is now even more memorable. Back for her second year, the Welcome Angel has quickly become a much-appreciated addition. And with such a large incoming class (approximately 440 students, the third largest freshman class in the last seven years), the Welcome Angel was very, very busy. As they leave behind 19 states and 12 countries to settle into a new home away from home, these young women are all looking forward to embracing Meredith's academic richness as well as taking advantage of internships and study abroad programs, developing leadership skills, and benefiting from the college's unique one-on-one mentoring program, StrongPoints.
Sierra Smith, a sophomore at Meredith College shared her thoughts:
Last year when I saw the Welcome Angel, I thought that it was the most thoughtful thing that Meredith College could've done. It was calming to see someone on Move-In Day with a smile on her face.
It made me really happy to see the Welcome Angel return this year because I knew that the freshman would feel welcomed and a sense of relief when they saw her. It brought back some awesome memories when I saw her back this year. It reminds me of why I feel so at home on campus.
I know that when my mother saw the Welcome Angel last year, she was so happy and she also felt like there were people here that really cared about her daughter.
Meredith's Welcome Angel is Rebekah Gardner, and she's also a Resident Director on campus. I asked Rebekah how the Welcome Angel came to be, and here's what she said:
The Welcome Angel was born out of the desire to do a job with enthusiasm and joy.
The Meredith College Move-In Day is a huge celebration, and as a Residence Director, I want our students to feel welcomed, loved, and well taken care of! The parents love seeing the community and the Welcome Angel embrace their daughter with open arms.
I know all colleges and universities don't operate this way on Move-In Day, but you have to remember students' first impression is a factor in how they will bloom and grow in your institution.
As for the Welcome Angel and Meredith College, I know that a friendly smile, enthusiastic joy, and contagious love are what works for welcoming our new students into our community. It's going to be a great year!
A great year indeed! It's especially exciting since the college is celebrating its 125-year birthday.
Founded in 1891 as a women's college, Meredith College is still going strong today. In addition to an ever-expanding undergraduate program for women, the overall student population is increasing -- for the second consecutive year the college has experienced an increase in student enrollment and now totals approximately 1,950 students in undergraduate and coed graduate programs.
I expect to see the Welcome Angel welcoming even more students to the Meredith community in the years to come. Today's young women are discovering the advantages of attending a women's college like Meredith College and saying "yes" to a single-sex learning environment. Women's colleges are a good fit for college-bound high school girls seeking strong academic programs as well as opportunities to become involved in internships and studying abroad and to develop leadership skills within a supportive and caring environment.
Welcome Class of 2019!
Keep Up the GREAT Job Welcome Angel!
Happy 125th Birthday Meredith College!
Going strong after all these years!