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A line of cars crawls up Stadium Drive on Friday as freshmen move into their dorms. Kellen Short | Watauga Democrat.

Originally published: 2013-08-16 17:33:46
Last modified: 2013-08-16 17:35:58

ASU welcomes 3,000 freshmen

The campus and community are bustling once again with the return of roughly 15,850 Appalachian State University undergraduates this weekend.

Nearly 3,000 freshmen moved into residence halls Friday, to be joined Saturday by all other on-campus students.

There was no time for tears Friday for Tyler and Cheryl Harp of Chapel Hill, who bid farewell to their son, Caleb.

"This is our first one to go off to school," Cheryl Harp said. "I've probably gone so superiorly overboard with getting stuff for him."

About 1,000 faculty, staff, alumni, parents and other volunteers were expected to help with the onslaught, making light work of the long day.

"We just got here five minutes ago, and it's already all up there," said Julie Merritt of Sanford, who helped move her daughter, Savannah, into Coltrane Residence Hall.

Among those helpers were alumni Thomas and Kathryn Smith, who met at Appalachian State University before graduating in 1986. They moved in their son to ASU this year and then got to work lending a hand.

"We wanted to be able to be a part of it," Kathryn Smith said. "He's off having fun, and we're moving folks in."

Those students who aren't "legacies" named a number of reasons for choosing Appalachian State.

"I want to be a teacher, so they have a really good education program," said freshman Laura Miles of Charlotte, who said she was familiar with the area from family vacations to Blowing Rock.

For others, like freshman Lauren Lowe of Cary, Ill., it was the appeal of a close-knit school far from home.

Her father, Darrell Lowe, summed it up with a sheepish grin: "She wanted a smaller campus, a campus with a football team -- and just away from her mom."

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