BGSU and UT freshmen gear up for a new year

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    Rocky the Rocket mascot, left, and Blue Crew member Five Star, right, help students move into the newly renovated Parks Tower dormitory during move-in day at the University of Toledo.

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  • As summer draws to an end, incoming college freshmen from all over the country are preparing to start the next four years of their lives.

    The class of 2022 at Bowling Green State University and the University of Toledo are getting a jump start with the help of their university presidents.

    “From the top down and the bottom up, we’re all a part of it,” UT President Sharon Gaber said. “We want them to succeed.”

    Ms. Gaber, who began her tenure as the 17th president of UT in July, 2015, has made it a tradition to help students move into their college dorms. On Friday, she helped students move into the newly renovated Parks Tower dorm that holds up to 668 students.

    WATCH: Incoming freshman move in at UT

    History major Will Culbertso of Cleveland was excited for the fresh start.

    “When I visited here, I felt the camaraderie and the homeness,” he said. “I’m from Cleveland, but it feels like home here.”

    As UT students adjust into their lives, about 6,000 BGSU students, including more than 3,600 first-year students, will be moving into residence halls. Students from the class represent 31 states, 79 Ohio counties, and nearly 900 high schools.

    “As you know, the city of Bowling Green transforms itself when students return to campus,” President Rodney Rogers said.

    This will also be a new experience for Mr. Rogers, who is entering his first full year at the helm of the university.

    “I’m a freshman like our newest students coming through the door as well,” he said.

    The new president started the year off by helping incoming freshmen move into Centennial Hall on Thursday.

    The incoming freshman class has the highest grade-point average in school history at 3.46, with 23 percent of the class composed of first-generation college students.

    While UT was unable to provide these numbers in an effort to wait for an accurate count once school started, Ms. Gaber announced during a ceremonial raising of the UT flag Friday morning that student graduation and retention rates are the highest they’ve been in 20 years.

    “I hope we continue that success,” she said. “I hope each year we continue that momentum we’re making.”

    Scot Douglas of Fostoria hopes his daughter is a part of that momentum.

    “I’m looking forward to her having a good experience, to her learning some good life lessons so this will prepare her for adulthood, and hopefully she’ll continue into adulthood with a better head on her shoulders and some actual knowledge of how the world works,” he said.

    Taiah Douglas, who will be a marketing major this year, said she’s looking forward to meeting new people and starting her school year.

    “Its exciting and it’s been a little overwhelming, but once I get everything sorted out, it’ll be fine,” she said about the moving process. “I’m excited to start living independently.”

    Staff writer Javonte Anderson contributed to this report.

    Contact Areeba Shah at ashah@theblade.com419-724-6066, or on Twitter @areebashah_.