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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University September 2, 2008 | Vol. 38 No. 1
A New Year Begins

Before the skies open up, President William R. Brody and his wife, Wendy, whiz around on zero-emission T3 Motion vehicles to greet arriving students and their families on the first day of Move-In at Homewood.
Photo by Will Kirk / HIPS

The Class of 2012 arrives at rainy Homewood in a cavalcade of packed cars

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

Pleasant weather conditions — warm or moderate temperatures, friendly skies and not a drop of precipitation — have typically been a staple of freshman Move-In days.

Not this year.

On Friday morning, the gray sky erupted with rain, which fell heavily at times on the freshmen, their family members and the legions of volunteers on hand to greet the Class of 2012 and help them check into student housing.

Just before the skies opened, freshman Roberto Passaro from Scarsdale, N.Y., stepped out of his parents' car to wait with other students for the volunteers known as "walkers" to escort them to locations where they would pick up residence keys, J-cards and everything else that would make them official Johns Hopkins students.

Passaro said he was both excited and somewhat apprehensive about his upcoming academic journey and being away from home for the first time. "I couldn't sleep at all last night," he said. "But I'm very much looking forward to this. This is what I wanted and where I want to be."

Nearby, greeters like Anne Griffioen, a sophomore public health studies major, flashed big smiles as they stopped the vehicles streaming in from University Parkway to welcome the passengers to Johns Hopkins, exchange some friendly chitchat and verify their check-in locations. Even drenched, Griffioen did her best to offer a friendly welcome and keep the line moving.

Move-In volunteers Marlena Kuhn, Amanda Cardona and Seth Levine
Photo by Will Kirk / HIPS

SUVs, minivans and cars began to file through the university's north gate on Friday as early as 9 a.m. Parents and guardians then drove to assigned points near the undergraduate residence halls, where other groups of volunteers, dressed in blue rain ponchos, feverishly unloaded the students' belongings to get them safely indoors.

President Brody and his wife, Wendy, this year rode zero-emission personal electric mobility vehicles by T3 Motion to meet and greet parents and the 1,238 students. Funky modes of transportation on move-in days have long been a Brody tradition. Past vehicles have included Segway scooters, inline skates and folding bikes.

President Brody, who retires on Dec. 31, seemed to enjoy his last move-in weekend. Weaving in and out of the caravan, he often flashed the lights and sirens on his T3 vehicle, adorned with a Johns Hopkins seal and security emblem.

President Brody wasn't the only one having fun. The volunteers seemed to revel in the downpour as they did their best to make light of the weather and make Day 1 a pleasant one for the incoming class.


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