Marietta College students move into dormitories

MARIETTA – Welcome, Marietta College Class of 2017.

More than 400 freshmen along with their parents, grandparents, siblings and others converged on the Marietta College campus Friday morning.

The first stop of the day was the Gathering Place at Seventh and Butler streets, where freshmen were photographed and talked to college representatives about billing, dining service and other offices and services.

“It’s a wonderful time when they come back,” said Linda Stroh, the director of donor stewardship with the college’s Advancement Office. “For parents, it’s nostalgic. For us, it’s the beginning of another year of adventure.”

Students with the McDonough Excel Workshop were on hand to help carry students’ possession into the rooms of Sophia Russell, Elsie Newton, Mary Beach, Dorothy Webster and Marietta residence halls. Butler Street was closed between Seventh and Fourth streets to help families unload.

Katrina Watkins, 17, of Youngstown, was one of the Excel students helping with the move-in. The Excel students do volunteer work throughout the community.

“It helps the incoming freshmen,” Watkins said. “It makes moving in a lot easier.”

Dan Leidtke, of Beverly and Fort Frye girls basketball coach, was helping to move in his daughter, Morgan, 19, his first child to go to college.

“She’s the first one out of the nest,” Leidtke said. “It’s going to be a change not having her around.”

Of course, he said, she’s not too far away, and they’ll probably get to see her more than a lot of the parents, Leidtke said.

“It’s exciting, and I am nervous about moving in,” said Cody Caldwell, 19, of Hannibal, and a 2013 graduate of River High School. “I think it’ll all go pretty well.”

His home away from home is Mary Beach Hall.

President Joseph Bruno and first lady Diane Bruno welcomed and talked to the students and families moving in Friday morning. He’s even been known to help move in the students.

Diane Bruno was just as enthusiastic as the students were moving into the dorms.

“Now that things are familiar, we can enjoy them even more,” she said. “We can meet the new students and become even more acquainted with our current students.”

“It’s a group of enthusiastic parents and students,” the president said. “We have a strong academic group, and that trend keeps going up.”

Sherri Kleinhans, 48, of Prosperity, Pa., near Pittsburgh, was moving her daughter, Sarah, 18, into Mary Beach Hall. Sarah is the second one of the family to go to college.

“(I’m thinking) that she’s here,” Sherri said, starting to choke up. “That she’s grown up. This is it.”

Sherri said her daughter plans to major in education.

“I think Marietta is excellent,” Sherri said. “She said, ‘This smells like home. This feels like home.'”