Prior Street saw lots of traffic as first-year and transfer students moved into the Crudup Hall dorms Tuesday, August 18.
Prior Street saw lots of traffic as first-year and transfer students moved into the Crudup Hall dorms Tuesday, August 18.

New Students Pour into Brenau for Move-In Day 2015

Aug 18, 2015
Brenau Staff

The next wave of Brenau University Women’s College first-year students arrived on Tuesday to get a head start on learning the ropes as college freshmen before the scheduled beginning of classes on Monday, Aug. 24.

In all, more than 300 new students – hailing from 11 states and six countries – will begin classes at Brenau this autumn. With 900 residential and nonresidential students altogether, the 137-year old Women’s College constitutes about a third of Brenau University’s total enrollment.

Of the estimated 400 students living on campus this semester, about 150 are freshmen. With a cumulative 3.49 out of 4.0 grade point average and an average SAT score of 1022 out of 1200, Brenau’s Vice President of Enrollment Management Ray Tatum said this year’s crop of incoming students is certainly something special. “I’d say that this is one of the most qualified entering classes we have had in years, with more Honors-qualified students than before,” he said.

With the aid of parents, siblings and friends, those who will live on campus hauled piles of clothes, moving boxes, television sets, odd bits of furniture, musical instruments and other accouterment of college life into their dormitories. University police directed a steady flow of traffic on the narrow streets through Gainesville’s historic districts, while upperclass members of the Golden Tigers volleyball, softball, basketball and other intercollegiate sports teams stood by to assist with toting stuff into the students’ new homes away from home. Even the university’s coaches lent a hand with some heavy lifting.

“This is always a great day for the students and for the university,” Tatum said. “I know that some of the students, particularly the residential students who may have never been away from home for any extended period of time, are a little nervous, but the day is so full of energy, emotion and enthusiasm that it is difficult to be anything other than upbeat.”

Austell, Georgia, sophomore Amari Banks, who was in the same position a year ago as a freshman, agreed. “Right now, they are very shy,” said the health sciences major and member of the Golden Tigers cheerleading squad. “But, by the time school starts, they’ll be happy and excited.”

However, 18-year-old Amber Urso from Gainesville, seemed very relaxed and confident. After all, she said, move-in day at Brenau was a dream six years in the making. The Winder-Barrow High School graduate visited the campus to perform in an honor chorus when she was in seventh grade. “I knew ever since I saw the beautiful campus and the theater that I wanted to go to Brenau,” she said.

Urso plans to major in musical performance. She says she would also like to get involved in one of Brenau’s eight national sororities and try out for the Golden Tigers swimming team, which finished the 2014-15 season ranked No. 3 in the nation.

“I would like to become the absolute best that I can be, and through the music program Brenau is so renowned for,” she said, “I’d like to become the best singer I can be.”

Mom Linda Urso said it’s a surreal experience watching her daughter move onto campus, but she’s happy to see Amber fulfill her ambitions. Dad David Urso said he was ecstatic his daughter selected Brenau. Having his daughter so close to home, he said, greatly reassured him.

Decatur High School graduate Gloria Clark is attending Brenau on a track scholarship. The 18-year-old nursing major said one of her goals is to join Delta Sigma Theta. “I hope to transform into a young woman and be prepared for whatever life offers me,” she said.

Mom Jennell Clark said she was pleased Gloria chose Brenau. With a beautiful campus, small classes and so much history, she said there was no place else she’d rather send her daughter.

Dominion High School grad Analise Niverson is pursuing a career in fashion design and merchandising. The 18-year-old from Marietta, Georgia said she was impressed by how tight-knit the campus felt on a tour. “It seemed like a really big family, and I really liked that about the school,” she said.

Angelica Duthie, 17, attended Burke County High School in Augusta, Georgia. The conflict resolution and legal studies student said she is looking forward to joining Delta Delta Delta and Brenau’s storied theater department. She said the small classroom sizes and commitment to high-quality education drew her to the university. “It is a nice community and they always try to make people feel welcome,” Duthie said. “I hope to accomplish academic excellence, independence and just have a great year.”

Junior organizational leadership major and peer assistant Emily Burgess said the new students and their families have been very welcoming. Throughout the morning, she said she received plenty of hugs from freshmen and parents alike. This year’s Women’s College newcomers are very diverse, the 20-year old said. “It’s going to make for a very interesting and culturally competent class,” she said. “They aren’t afraid to branch out to people who are different than them, which is really awesome.”

Amanda Lammers, vice president of student services at Brenau, said the university has worked hard to blend student activities and academics, so that freshmen get a well-rounded start to the new school year.

“It’s a great mix of diversity and geographic areas,” she said of the Class of 2019. “I’m so excited to work with these students.”