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Freshmen Move-in Day brings excitement and mixed emotions


By Kathy Still

Ruby Williams’ smile was warm and bright Friday as the Richmond resident and her family made their third visit to The University of Virginia’s College at Wise. 

“I am so excited about this,” she said. “We are all excited.” 

Ruby WilliamsWilliams was one of dozens of families who arrived on campus early to move their freshmen sons, daughters and grandchildren in at the residence halls. Staff, faculty and student and housing leaders who volunteered to help carry items to the new students’ rooms met the families in parking lots. 

Move-in Day has become a traditional way to welcome new students and their families to UVa-Wise. It is one of many special touches that parents and new students appreciate on a busy and hectic day. Many tell the volunteers that the assistance on Move-in Day confirms that UVa-Wise is the right fit for their young students. 

“I knew from my first visit here that this college is special,” Williams said as she waited with her husband, Art, to help their grandson Malik Brown move his belongings to his new campus home. “There was an instant connection the first time we visited.” 

Williams said UVa-Wise had a family feel to it, and that is one of the reasons that her family and grandson chose the campus. 

“He will do fine,” she said. 

Maria ‘Nmah of Woodbridge was here to help her granddaughter Crystal begin her college career. 

“I’m both sad and happy,” she said. “I have mixed feelings.” 

Andy Gilliam, a Jonesville resident, had a short drive to campus with his family, but he is looking forward to campus life. 

“I really like the small class size here, and I also like that is close to home,” Gilliam said. 

Kesha Bruington of Hampton was spending some time with daughter Aleeya before volunteers swarmed their car and carried boxes toward the residence hall. 

aylee“I’m excited for her,” Bruington said. “I’m super excited for her, but I’m also nervous for her.”


Aleeya was excited as well, but only a bit nervous. She has been looking forward to attending UVa-Wise since she met admissions representatives at her high school. 

“I’m very excited,” she said. 

Sarah Wright, a Castlewood resident, is eager to begin her classes and to study criminal justice and data analysis. Her parents, Ray and Christine Wright, are proud. Her father said the move-in gave them mixed emotions. 

“She is the first one to stay on campus so we’re going to have an empty nest,” Christine Wright said. 

Wilson and Alison Enochs and their daughter Bailey accompanied their son Whitt to campus for his first official day in the UVa-Wise family. The family was impressed with campus. 

“So far so good,” Alison Enochs said as she smiled at her son. 

Josh Justice, director of housing, and his staff worked together to make the move-in transition smooth for new students and their families. 

“We look forward to getting people back in the residence halls after a quiet summer,” Justice said. “It’s nice to have energy back in the residence halls. We spend two weeks in training and we are all excited to build a feeling of community in our residence halls.”