Moving the largest incoming class in school history into residence halls is no small feat—it takes a well coordinated community effort. So Arcadia University faculty, staff and even student-athletes who were on campus early for preseason welcomed the Class of 2016 and new transfer students the best way they could: with smiles as they helped unload vehicles and deliver items (large and larger) to students’ rooms. Photos.
Tyler Scarpa ’16 and his family follow members of the Men’s Soccer team up several flights of red-carpeted stairs inside the most coveted residence on campus, Grey Towers Castle. They take a first look at his new residence. The second of four roommates to arrive, Tyler claims a bed and starts the process of making his room in the Castle a home away from home. Siblings Jack and Katya look to their big brother for instruction, while Dana, their mother, begins unpacking clothes.
“It’s a little scary,” says Dana, who is sending her first child off to college. “You can only hope that they do well and that you’ve taught them well.”
In the next room Dylan Gray ’16, an International Studies major who plans to minor in Spanish, unpacks the last of his clothes and excitedly starts to discuss Preview for Freshmen, which he can’t wait to be a part of.
“I’m looking for an experience that will be very culturally shocking,” he says, noting that his top destinations are Cuba and Jerusalem. To prepare for the experience, Gray has signed up for Travel Writing: Talking the Walk, a first-year seminar that develops students’ observational and travel skills and integrates research with personal reflection. “Why not take the 10-day Preview and do something a little bit more adventurous? I’m looking forward to experiencing something really amazing.” He plans to continue his studies in Arcadia’s International Peace and Conflict Resolution graduate program.
The Gray family left home in Williamsport, Pa. at 4 a.m. Dylan, his father, Andy, and his mother, Jeanne, all say they were surprised and thankful for the assistance they received from Arcadia’s able-bodied student-athletes, who helped move Dylan’s belongings into the Castle. “All the help this morning was wonderful,” says Andy.
“It would have taken us so much more time and sweat if it hadn’t been for all of their help,” adds Dylan.
With all Dylan’s stuff moved in and some time to spare, the three enjoy a few quiet moments together—the bittersweet start of a life-changing journey. “I’m going to get through it,” says Jeanne, who’ll be leaving Dylan after the first day Orientation activities.
“He’s our only one—that makes it a little tough,” adds Andy.
Meanwhile, on the far side of the Castle, Maria Chiatti ’16 of Blue Bell, Pa., settles into her new digs. She hasn’t chosen a major and says she’s looking to her first semester courses to help guide her decision. In addition to a math, English and Italian language course, she’ll be taking the first-year seminar Forensic Science: Shaping the World Of Justice, where she hopes to learn more about crime scene procedures, fingerprinting techniques and autopsies.
Beth, Chiatti’s mother, accompanied by her eldest child, Lawrence, fends off a few tears. “I’m very proud of Maria. I’m thrilled. We love this school. Every time we’ve come to see it I’ve loved it more. The campus is gorgeous.” Coming from an “international family”—Maria’s father is from Italy, and she was adopted from China—Maria is looking forward to study abroad.
Just down the hall, new roommates Hannah Shaffer ’16 and Melanie Santiago ’16 are getting acquainted while organizing and decorating their new home. Confident about the year ahead, the two discuss their first semester courses and preferred Preview destinations and anticipate the arrival of their third roommate. “I’m not really nervous—but maybe it just hasn’t hit me yet,” says Shaffer.
Santiago adds, “I’m just really excited for classes to start.”