Students have been moving into Carter Hall at East Tennessee State University since the school opened in fall 1911. The century-old building got its newest residents Thursday.
Freshman Alyse Sidoli, a nursing major, was moving into Carter, the first dorm on campus.
“I think it’s really cool,” Sidoli said of living in Carter. “I mean, it doesn’t look really old because they redid it and everything. But it’s really cool to have that history there.”
ETSU is celebrating its centennial this fall. The school was called East Tennessee State Normal School when it officially opened Oct. 2, 1911.
Sidoli, from Middle Tennessee, said she chose nursing because she has wanted to enter that profession since she was 12. Her grandmother was a nurse, too.
As she and her parents lugged her belongings up to her second-floor room Thursday, she was enthusiastic but anxious to begin college.
“I’m really excited,” Sidoli said. “I’m five hours from my family, so I’m kind of sad. My brothers cried when I left. But I can go back, visit.”
Ensuring everything went smoothly Thursday was Bonnie Burchett, the campus housing and residence life director. She was walking the campus Thursday morning as hundreds of students were moving into dormitories with the help of their parents and about 400 students who came back to campus early specifically to assist Thursday.
“These are freshmen and transfers who are attending Preview ETSU,” Burchett said of who was moving onto campus Thursday. “That begins this afternoon. We do have some other students, early arrivals, who will need to move in today for various reasons. But we’ll probably move in over 1,000 students today on campus.”
Students began moving their belongings into their rooms at 6:30 a.m. Thursday. The whole of the campus was filled with vehicles packed to capacity with everything necessary for college, including refrigerators, clothing, televisions, computers, decorations, bedding and rugs.
The rest of the student body living on campus will begin moving in Friday.
This is one of the busiest times of year for the school’s housing staff, Burchett said. The staff was making sure students were getting to the right rooms with the right roommates and that the rooms were ready. In most cases, everything was OK.
“It is busy, but it’s the most exciting, too,” Burchett said. “It’s real exciting to see the new students we’ve met all summer during orientation. It’s real fun. We love it.”
Two freshmen roommates who were excited to begin college were Megan Morton and Hali Harris, both friends from Knoxville. They were moving into West Hall Thursday, going back and forth from their room to the car where their stuff was.
Morton, who plans to study exercise science, thought it was neat to be beginning her college career at ETSU as the school celebrated its centennial. She was also excited about the independence she would have at school.
Harris, a nursing major, was excited, too, but mindful that college carries with it responsibilities.
“I think that we’ll just really have to stay focused on our studies and not have too much fun,” Harris said. “But I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
The new semester begins Saturday. Most classes begin next week.