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September 01. 2014 8:22PM

Mixed emotions on Move-In Day at Plymouth State


From left, Valerie, Christopher, and Chris Hamilton at PSU Move-In Day Monday. (DAN SEUFERT/Union Leader Correspondent)

PLYMOUTH — Chris and Valerie Hamilton leaned on a concrete wall outside of Smith Hall at Plymouth State University Monday afternoon, looking exhausted.

And sad.

It was Move-In Day at the university, and the campus was buzzing with students, parents, and PSU athletic team members, who were helping the students move in.

Approached and asked how she was doing, Valerie, the mother of 18-year-old freshman Christopher Hamilton, who has come to study environmental policy, put a rolled-up tissue to the corner of her eye.

“Please don’t ask, I’ve been doing so well today,” said Valerie, who was sending her first child to college at a place that is too far to frequently visit from the family’s home in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

“We’re very excited for him, he’s going to do good things here,” piped in Chris Hamilton.

“Of course it’s exciting, but it is very sad,” Valerie Hamilton said.

Chris Hamilton nodded. “I guess we’ll find out how we feel when he’s not around the next couple of weeks,” he said.

Christopher Hamilton joined his parents a few minutes later. “I’m really looking forward to it, it should be a lot of fun,” he said.

Inside a second-floor room at Smith, one of Hamilton’s classmates agreed with him. Rebecca Rand, 18, of Litchfield was setting up her room as her new roommate looked on. Her parents had helped her move in earlier in the day.

Was she missing her parents yet?

“Nope,” she said, laughing.

“Are you kidding? I’m going to have so much fun here,” she said.

Robin and Michael Hodge of Peterborough walked away from Smith, having just helped their 18-year-old daughter, freshman Meaghan Hodge, move into the residence hall.

“She’s studying elementary education, she wants to be a school teacher, she’s wanted that all of her life,” her father said smiling.

Robin Hodge said she was happy for her daughter, and also sad.

“It’s a little rough,” she said. “It’s hard to lose her, but she’s always dreamed of this.”

Kevin Valentine packed his car with empty suitcases in the Smith Hall parking lot, having just dropped off his son, Matthew, a freshman sports medicine major. He said the day wasn’t too sad.

“He’s close enough so we can always visit him,” said Valentine, who lives in Lyndon, Vt. “My wife and I will be fine.”

PSU President Sara Jayne Steen said the day went well at Plymouth.

“Beautiful day, so much excitement and energy and it’s such a wonderful time to see the campus, said Steen. “This has gone incredibly smooth.”

About 2,000 people moved to campus on Monday, PSU officials said.

dseufert@newstote.com


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