Johns Hopkins move-in ritual signals area college students' return to class

August 31, 1998|By Lisa Respers | Lisa Respers,SUN STAFF

The bittersweet ritual of going off to college was a bit easier for some this weekend at the Johns Hopkins University because of an in-line skating president, 25-cent lemonade and fresh linens.

While area college and university students prepare to head back to classes today, almost 1,000freshmen converged on Hopkins' Homewood campus yesterday for the ritual move-in day. Loyola College, the University of Maryland, Coppin, Morgan and Towson universities begin classes today.

A caravan of cars, trucks and rental trucks snaked around the freshman quad at Hopkins while 300 to 400 upperclassman volunteers lugged boxes into dorms for new students and their parents.

"We've had other friends whose kids have gone away to school and they said, 'No way are they going to unload your stuff,' " said Vicki Mentrenko, who along with her husband, Mike, had driven from Cleveland to drop off their 18-year-old daughter, Megan. "When we got here, I thought, 'Great, it's true.' "

University President William R. Brody and his wife, Wendy, donned in-line skates and matching outfits of blue Hopkins T-shirts and khaki shorts to greet the incoming class of 2002. Brody said they wanted to put parents at ease and make the students feel welcome.

"For many of the parents it's their first child off to college, and watching your child get out of that car can be a very traumatic experience," Brody said. "We are here to try and make them feel a little bit more secure about leaving their child."

About a dozen students grabbed clothes, boxes and a computer belonging to Amanda Owens, 18. Owens, who is from Temple, Texas, said that if yesterday is any indication, she is going to enjoy being a student at Hopkins.

"The people are just so nice," she said.

Pub Date: 8/31/98

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