Days before the start of the 2022 Fall Semester, Troy University’s Troy Campus was buzzing with excitement as students flooded residence halls with college living essentials while sorority recruits anxiously waited at the Elm Street Gym across campus to run up the hill to meet their new sisters.
Moving vans and carts filled with bedding, shelves, TROY memorabilia and much more could be spotted at every corner of campus Saturday as waves of students and their families filled their new rooms in preparation for the start of the semester.
Kelsey Thomas, a senior exercise science major from Enterprise, Ala., moved into her dorm for the last time. As she rolled her decorative pink cart up to the building, she offered incoming freshman a piece of advice: “Get involved.”
“Once you get involved, you truly start to experience the atmosphere TROY gives. It felt like home from the minute I stepped on campus—I knew I wanted to be here,” she said. “Students considering TROY, just give it a chance. It’s much bigger than most people think it is, and it’s a great school.
“It’s been my second home for three years and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m cherishing everything while I can and not taking a thing for granted.”
Close behind with another load of belongings, her mother, Amy, reminisced about her own time at TROY as part of the graduating class of 1994.
“It’s so neat to see how everything has changed and to hear the experiences she’s having compared to some of the things I did, so I’m glad she got the opportunity to live here and experience everything the University and the community have to offer,” she said. “But it’s also bittersweet that it’s coming to an end. It’s been an exciting journey for her.”
Freshman Taylor Hollon of Mobile, Ala., accompanied by his dad, Jeff, also a TROY graduate from the early 90s, arrived early to beat the crowd.
Hollon said he plans to major in economics and is looking forward to joining a fraternity, making new friends and continuing to learn. What initially drew him to TROY, however, was the campus itself.
“I visited a few other schools, but I didn’t want to be too far from home,” he said. “(TROY) isn’t too big, it’s not too small. It’s a really nice fit for me.”
The elder Hollon said he’s more than comfortable with his son attending his alma mater.
“I love TROY. I lived in Clements Hall, and it’s a totally different campus,” he said. “I feel good about him being here with everything that’s been updated and everything that’s new. We’re excited for him and I’m sure he’ll do fine.”
While other students moved in, over a hundred hopeful sorority sisters packed into the Elm Street Gym to find out which organization’s letters they’d be proudly displaying later that day.
Ashley Alexander, a freshman business major from Tallahassee, Fla., said she wanted to participate in recruitment to help her get involved.
“Not only on campus, but in the community, too,” she said. “Being from out of state, I knew that would be a struggle for me and this makes that a whole lot easier and way more fun. I’ve gotten really close to my pi chi group and we’re all going to different houses, so I’m excited to see where we all end up.”
Ella Bryant, a freshman from Mobile, said she rushed in search of a new friend family.
“I played sports throughout high school, so coming to college and not having that anymore is scary. I needed that family-type atmosphere to rely on and go back to, and I found that this week,” she said.
Bryant grew up a short distance away from TROY’s most intense rivalry, the University of South Alabama—which also happens to be her older brother’s chosen school. She said she’s already feeling the effects of the animosity between the two student bodies.
“My brother already posted on early move in day about taking his sister to the enemy school!” she said.
Freshman Emily McGuire came to TROY without the comfort of her friends from her hometown of Smiths Station, Ala. but said she’s already found a home with her fellow recruits.
“I wanted to make genuine relationships with the people I met and to be able to grow and be part of something bigger than myself, and I absolutely found that this week,” she said. “I’ve met some amazing people and I think I found the home that’s right for me. To anyone considering TROY or thinking about joining a sorority, just do it. Give it a shot!”
Registration for Term 1 and Fall Semester classes is open until Aug. 22.
Photo galleries from Move In Day and Bid Day can be found here.