Cal U welcomes the Class of 2023 as part of Welcome Weekend festivities.
Excitement and anticipation were evident as Cal U welcomed first-year students on Friday, Aug. 23, as part of Welcome Weekend.
The three-day experience began with Move-in Day, a familiar event for Brad and Jennifer Deicas of Charleroi, whose daughter Mollie was moving into Smith Hall. An art education major, she is the fourth of their six children to attend Cal U.
Her brother Ryan Workman is a receiver on the football team, social work major Brandon Workman is set to graduate in December 2020, and William Workman graduated in 2018. Mollie’s grandfather, Brad Sr., Class of 1971, also helped her to move in.
“Cal U is a nice campus that’s close to home, and my brothers and sisters always speak highly of it.” she said. “I’m really not nervous at all and look forward to getting started.”
“Obviously our family likes Cal U, and I think you get a really good education right here,” Jennifer Deicas said. “People need to realize this.”
A team of more than 150 volunteers — including faculty, staff, and returning students — were ready to help at the residence halls on Cal U’s main campus and Vulcan Village on the upper campus.
Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity secretary William Kraft was doing some heavy lifting in Johnson Hall.
“We need students to join our fraternity, and this is a great way to get our name out there and meet the freshmen,” he said. “I live off-campus now, but students helped me move in so I’m returning the favor.”
Rhonda Bennett, of Buckhannon, W.Va., was moving her daughter, Leigh Ann, into Residence Hall C with help from the Rev. Pete Ware of Campus Ministry. Another daughter, Lauren, moved in last year.
“The help is great, and it makes things go so quickly with little effort,” Rhonda Bennett said. “All of us enjoy how the campus is set up where you can easily walk to everywhere you need to go.”
“Being close to my sister is a big help and I like all of the facilities here,” Leigh Ann said. “I really do not know what I want to do but from what I see there’s a lot of activities to look into here.”
Keegan Butler of Youngstown, Ohio, a professional golf management major and member of the golf team, seemed confident about his intended career path.
“I want to be a club professional just like my mom,” said Butler. His mom, Stacie, is a club professional at Mill Creek Golf Course, in Boardman, Ohio.
“I have liked meeting all the people I came in contact with so far here and am ready to get started.”
The busy first day wrapped up with New Student Convocation, followed by an ice cream social and outdoor movie.
At the Convocation, University President Geraldine M. Jones welcomed the students followed by remarks from Distinguished Young Alumnus Frederick L. Smith III, Class of 2012.
Smith, who majored in geography, is the data analytics lead at the American Red Cross Disaster Operations Coordination Center, in Fairfax, Va.
Among his words of wisdom for the Class of 2023: Get involved, build networks and cherish the experience.
“Cal U afforded me many opportunities, and I cherish each of them today. Some of my best memories are from my time here.”
In addition to the many on-campus weekend activities, which included fireworks at dusk on Saturday, students also attended the California Borough Recreation Authority’s seventh annual RiverFest celebration.