About 2,500 students, many of them freshmen, moved into LSU’s residence halls on Wednesday, and many of them got some help from a few special volunteers.
As cars crept through campus along Highland Road, several football and basketball players, gymnasts and even President and Chancellor F. King Alexander were there to lend a hand to students and their families. LSU’s fall semester starts Monday.
“The parents are all surprised that we’re here,” said LSU’s starting punter Jamie Keehn, who was helping at the Laville Honors House.
Keehn took one end of a boxy mini-fridge, while defensive end Jermauria Rasco took the other end.
The two squeezed the refrigerator through a relatively tight doorway and down the hall into the dorm as other players carried in boxes, bags and plastic tubs.
Later, Keehn was toting a roll of carpet under one arm and a comforter in the opposite hand.
“Thank God for football players!” one mother shouted back down the hallway.
In all, more than 500 people — various student groups participated, in addition to the athletes — volunteered to help move students into their new dorm rooms.
Alexander, LSU’s leader, said he helped move in students from across the state and country, Ohio, Georgia, New Mexico, Massachusetts.
“The real beauty of this is that it validates the choice to come to LSU for students and their parents,” Alexander said, catching a short break in the air conditioning with an iced beverage just before noon. He had been out there since 6:30 a.m.
“It’s really neat to be able to talk with all of these people and welcome them,” Alexander said.
Kathy Nicholosi, of New Orleans, was there to move her son, Trey, into the dorm.
“There’s nowhere to park, it’s hot outside and I’m thinking ‘How are we going to get all this inside?’” she said.
Then, she spotted the group of volunteers.
“They rock,” Nicholosi said. “They all walked up to us and offered to help.”
Linebacker Christian Pittman carried an armful of clothes on hangers as the Nicholosis walked in and chatted with Trey, asking where he went to high school and welcoming him to LSU.
Alexander said his hope is that parents and students take the experience back with them.
“It spreads through the community,” he said.