Newest Jayhawks move in, get settled at KU’s dorms
Healy Young was doing the heavy lifting as she pulled suitcases from the back of the car and hauled them up to the fourth floor of Naismith Hall.
That’s where her daughter Brittany Huang, 18, was unpacking.
Mother and daughter had flown from New Jersey to Kansas City so Brittany could attend the University of Kansas. They rented a car at the airport and navigated to the Lawrence campus.
Move-in day brought increased traffic around residence halls. Parking lots at dormitories across KU’s campus were filled with families unloading stacks of plastic tubs, refrigerators, TVs and plenty of shopping bags from Bed, Bath & Beyond to turn generic dorm rooms into homes.
Almost 200 freshmen were moving into Naismith Hall Thursday morning, according to Brian Hang, general manager for the privately owned dormitory. Returning students would be trickling in over the week. Naismith can house 450 students, but Hang said they still had rooms to rent. The number of students at Naismith was down from last year, Hang said, though he didn’t know the exact number.
Jeff and Annie Wake, of Wichita, made multiple trips as they helped their son Jeffrey, 18, move into the room he would share with Carter Friend, also 18.
Jeffrey and Carter have been friends since first grade. They both graduated from Goddard’s Eisenhower High School in May.
“He’s our first,” said Laci Friend, about her son Carter leaving home for college.
It was a very emotional ride up to Lawrence for Laci. Life was changing for their family, and it was hitting home on the drive.
Although she was nervous, she said she was still excited for Carter’s freshman year.
Dad was, too.
“I’m excited for all the things he’ll experience,” Chris Friend said.
Carter said he appreciated his parents’ help getting set up, but he was ready to be left at college.
Meanwhile, upstairs in her dorm room, Huang said coming to Kansas appealed to her because she was accepted into the honors program and wants to attend law school. She hopes to be done with her undergraduate education in three years and then stay at KU for her law studies.
While she looked at other universities around the country, “KU did a really good job selling the school,” Huang said.
“She didn’t look at one school in the Northeast region,” said Young as she pulled clothing out of a suitcase. “If they had accepted her in Hawaii, she would have gone.”
Huang said she wanted to get away from the eastern U.S. But she had to get a map and point out Kansas to her friends in New Jersey when she told them where she was going.
Huang and Young will miss each other, and they plan to text and FaceTime each other regularly.
When Young went off to college, it wasn’t that easy to keep in touch. She remembers calling her mother only once a week because it was so expensive.
Downstairs in the lobby, parents waited for elevators, many of them had their arms loaded with the essentials for dorm living. One man, J.T. Collor, had his arms filled with his daughter’s well-worn stuffed animal collection, including a giant bear. Collor said he was excited for the experiences his daughter would have in the coming year.
“Her room is so awesome,” Collor said. ” I had buddies who lived here in the 1980s.”
Notable upcoming dates at KU
• Traditions Night: 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Memorial Stadium. Learn the history, songs, cheers and customs integral to becoming a true Jayhawk.
• Opening convocation: 4 to 5 p.m. Sunday, the Lied Center. This is the traditional beginning to each academic year at KU. Chancellor Douglas Girod and other speakers will discuss goals for the coming year.
• First day of class: Monday.