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College hosts final move-in day before main day for new students

Barry McNamara
08/16/2018
Madi Fellhauer (closest to sign) of Jacksonville, Ill., was among members of the Class of 2022 who arrived on campus at the end of July for the College's SOFIA program.
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MONMOUTH, Ill. – There was a time when most Monmouth College students moved in on a single day. Now they arrive on campus in waves.

Thanks to innovative academic programs, an earlier start to the fall athletic season and marching band, College officials estimate that more than half of the members of the Class of 2022 will already be on campus when the official new student move-in day is held Aug. 18.

“Well over half of our incoming first-year students move in before Move-In Day,” said Vice President for Student Life & Dean of Students Laura Hutchinson. “We want to welcome them the right way, so we have consolidated our early arrival days to four dates.”

On Aug. 15, the fourth of those dates occurred, as members of the College’s fall sports teams arrived on campus. They joined more than 100 football players, who arrived the week before. Also already back on campus were students participating in SOFIA (Summer Opportunity for Intellectual Activity), marching band members, leaders of Greek chapters, residence life staff members and orientation leaders.

An active campus

By mid-afternoon Aug. 15, several cars were lined up on the west edge of campus along Sixth Street, hazard lights blinking. Among the items being unpacked were plastic totes and cases of water and Gatorade to help students stay cool in the summer heat. Even little family members got in on the act, helping out where they could by carrying pillows and blankets.

Ominous clouds and intermittent downpours couldn’t drown out the excitement of the new and returning students, but they did throw a wrench into the marching band’s plans.

“We had almost a three-hour block get rained out this morning,” said Greg Rife, who is assisting band director Andrew Dziuk this fall. “But they learned a ton of drill on the first night, getting almost the entire first tune down, which is pretty remarkable.”

The band members were hard at work at April Zorn Memorial Stadium, getting their rhythm down while a metronome beeped over the loudspeakers. Although the band’s first major performance – at the Warren County Prime Beef Festival Parade on Sept. 5 – was a few weeks away, it will play this season’s four Bruno Mars selections at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 17 in the stadium.

Back-to-school items

Elsewhere on campus, members of the volleyball team began arriving at the Huff Athletic Center to pick up gear for the new season. Women’s soccer players were busy helping each other settle into their residence hall rooms before facing a 6 a.m. fitness test the next day.

In the campus bookstore, a steady stream of families was lining up to purchase books for the coming semester, as well as items from an impressive collection of Monmouth swag.

“It’s been crazy today,” said bookstore manager Peggy McNitt. “It’s been pretty busy here since the football team arrived last week. Every day, it gets a little busier.”

Next door to the bookstore, renovations continued on Grier Hall, the lone residence hall that was not welcoming students that day. The 90-bed hall is in the midst of a renovation that is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2019 spring semester.