University of Maine welcomes class of 2026 to campus

Published: Aug. 26, 2022 at 4:45 PM EDT
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ORONO, Maine (WABI) - The streets of Orono were lined with cars and welcome signs Friday as the newest group of Black Bears moved into their dorms.

Despite a bit of rain in the forecast, volunteers and families made the best of it.

“The rain came down pretty hard for a little while, but it kept us kept us energized I’ll say. Ultimately, everybody was getting boxes in and out and I was just standing around helping cars, direct traffic. The crew did all the work getting everything in and ended up working out great,” said sophomore Cameron Hasselbaum.

Zachary Grande drove up from Boxford, Massachusetts Friday morning to move in.

Both he and his parents say they are ready for this next adventure.

“I just want to meet people, I’m kicking them out. So, I’m just excited,” Grande said.

“I think it’s the other way around. I think we’re kicking you out,” said Grande’s mom Davida Villella. “I am so thrilled. It’s a beautiful campus. It’s just such a natural steppingstone of life and I couldn’t be happier. I know he’s going to be successful, and I just can’t wait for him to see that himself.”

For everyone else on campus, move-in day is a special chance to give back and welcome the class of 2026.

“Everyone’s having so much fun. You get to kind of see people start a new chapter in their lives that doesn’t happen every day and only happens a few days a year, so it’s exciting,” said sophomore Meredyth Waters.

When it comes to advice for the incoming class, getting involved and being a part of the community seems to be a common theme.

“Get involved, join a club and make this your new home community because only have four years to do it. So, you got to make the best out of it,” Waters said.

“Try as many new things as you can meet as many new people as you can, so that you really get a feel for exactly what it is you want to do for the next four years,” Hasselbaum said.

That, and the most important advice.

“Call your mothers, and I mean that sincerely,” Villella said.

After getting settled in their dorms the class of 2026 will head to the President’s dinner and convocation Friday night.