More than 750 First-years arrive at WSSU
(pictured above: Allison Sutton (center) gets help from her mother, Cheryl (right), grandmother, Alice.)
Hundreds of anxious and excited freshmen descended on the campus of Winston-Salem State University Saturday, ready to begin their paths to a college degree.
Members of fraternities, sororities and other campus organizations helped more than 750 first-year students move into dorms ahead of the 2014-2015 school year.
A long line of vehicles moved at a snail’s pace, as new students and their parents patiently waited their turn to unload.
Wilmington native Allison Sutton settled in with the help of her grandmother, aunt, uncle and parents.
The 18-year-old, who will major in nursing, said UNCG was her college choice before she attended open house at WSSU.
“When I came here, I just felt the richness and the culture of a HBCU (historically black college/university),” she said. “They (WSSU) have the best nursing program for African American students in North Carolina. They also have a band, and I want to participate in the chorus.”
WSSU’s appeal was strong enough to reach Piscataway Township, N.J., where Vernon Johnson III lives and
from which he and his family drove to Winston-Salem last week.
Johnson, 18, wanted to attend an HBCU and his home state lacks them. He made an impromptu visit to WSSU and was impressed.
“When I came, it wasn’t on a (college) tour date, so I got to see what it was really like,” he said.
Attending an HBCU was also important to Charlotte native Javonty Hunter, who will major in business administration.
“I feel like this will be the last opportunity to spend time with people that are most like me, and I want to cherish that,” he said.
Imani Safford said she was looking for a change of scenery when she considered schools outside of her hometown – Atlanta.
“I love my city, but I wanted to venture out. This is a new experience for me,” said the music major. “I am very excited, and I have been waiting for this day for the longest.”
If Safford does get home sick, she doesn’t have to cross state lines. She has family members in Winston-Salem.
The themes of breaking away and starting anew were common among many of the freshmen. Julian Massey is the last of his siblings to leave the nest for college. The Marietta native said he has never been away from home for an extended period of time. The prospect, though, excites him.
“I am finally getting away from home and embarking on the path of being a young man … growing up and pursuing my own goals and dreams,” he said.
Jailan Reed of Laurinburg is proud to be a member of the WSSU Ram family. She wants to make her blood family and school family proud by doing well.
“I think that I will do good … I have to do good,” she said.
This week, the freshmen are taking part in RAMDITION, a series of workshops and social events designed to acclimate them to campus life. It all culminates Aug. 16 with the “Through the Archway” rite of passage ceremony, when each of them will pass through the school’s historic arches on their way to a special ceremony in K.R. Williams Auditorium.