Students and families from all over the country arrived on the campus of Jackson State University Aug. 17 for the university’s annual move-in day.
“They all look so excited,” said Tyiesha Johnson, senior speech communications major and move-in day volunteer. “It’s just sad to see the parents cry when they leave their babies.”
JSU President Carolyn W. Meyers and Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs James C. Renick greeted students from states including Tennessee, Georgia, Missouri, Louisiana, Florida, Ohio, Texas and Mississippi.
Faculty, staff, students and alumni aided the new Jacksonians as they moved in by loading the new students’ belongings into carts and wheeling them into residence halls.
“We want our new family to know that we are concerned about their well being,” said JSU President Carolyn W. Meyers. “We want them to be confident in our commitment to them.”
Parents expressed their appreciation of the love they felt from the JSU community. “I’m not worried about him being taken care of,” said Willie Allison, father of criminal justice major Cleveland Allison. “These are tears of joy. He is coming to one of the best schools in the state.”
Some of the new students also conveyed the confidence that they have in their new JSU family. “It was really nice here when I visited,” said freshman elementary education major Jasmine Robinson of Mason, Ohio. “I felt like I would be at home.”
John Hampton Jr. of Memphis agreed. “I came down for high school day and I felt at home,” Hampton said. “It was an automatic connection. I’m just happy to be here.”
Hampton is a third generation Jacksonian and a meteorology major.
Lakendra Heck of Jacksonville, Fla. said that Jackson State is a new place of refuge for her. “Getting away from her was my number one thing,” Heck said jokingly as she pointed to her mother, Katina Heck.
Despite the new distance in parent-child relationships, some of the parents see their child’s selection of JSU for college as a premier opportunity.
“She has structure here,” said Katina Heck. “We are going to say that JSU is a top 50 school. You don’t really hear anything negative about JSU.”
Carol Pirtle of the Memphis area showed similar enthusiasm. “I’m happy to drop him off,” Pirtle said, referring to her son Darius Pirtle, an 18-year-old biology pre-physical therapy major. “I think he’ll benefit from being in Jackson.”
JSU move-in day kicks off the university’s Welcome Week, which runs through Sunday, Aug. 25. Welcome Week activities include workshops, social gatherings, community service projects and orientation sessions. The first day of classes is Monday, Aug. 26.
- Darrell Robinson Jr.