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Grand Canyon University welcomes new students on move-in day

(KTAR News/Griselda Zetino)

PHOENIX — A party atmosphere with loud music and cars honking greeted thousands of new students at Grand Canyon University Monday for move-in day.

As cars and trucks packed to the brim with boxes rolled in, hundreds of energized student volunteers lined up on each side and helped incoming students take their belongings to their dorms.

“This is crazy, and I can’t wait to be a part of it,” Michael Taurasi, a freshman from California, said about the welcome he received.

Makayla Velarde, an incoming freshman from New Mexico, said she had an idea of what to expect before she drove up.

“I’ve heard of it, but it’s a different thing hearing about it and then experiencing it for sure,” she said. “It really made me feel special and welcomed.”

More than 2,300 new students, most of them freshmen, moved in on Monday to kick off Welcome Week at GCU.

There are about 7,500 new students attending GCU this school year, bringing the total number of students enrolled to a record of more than 22,000.

GCU President Brian Mueller said move-in day shows the spirit and camaraderie of GCU students.

“The students really want all the new students welcomed in a special way,” he said. “They don’t want anybody to move their own boxes, their own stuff. It’s a great way to be welcomed to start the year.”

Student volunteers were up and ready to help incoming students move in before sunrise on Monday.

Kaely Olmor, a senior at GCU, said she got up early to be part of move-in day. She got the same welcome three years ago and wanted to do the same for new students.

“When I was a freshman, I was super embarrassed at first,” Olmor said. “My parents were loving it. They were honking the horn. It was super great to have a bunch of people rush to your car and bring everything up [to your dorm] within seconds.”

Arizona State University moved in more than 16,000 new students over the weekend, with classes starting Thursday.

Move-in for students at the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University is on Thursday and classes begin Monday.

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