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Highly festive Move-In Day at Emerson


Student orientation leaders wait to sing and unpack freshmen parents' vehicles outside the Paramount Center on August 25. (Photo by Dan O'Brien)

Beyoncé is blaring and college students are dressed in tutus, leis, mouse ears, bullhorns, and suspenders as far as the eye can see.

It can mean only one thing: Move-In Day at Emerson College is here.


Gabby Ruiz '16 outside the Little Building on Move-In Day, August 25. (Photo by Dan O'Brien)

“I’m a little overwhelmed, but in a good way,” said new student Alexandra Chuma ’18, whose long drive from Pennsylvania ended with cheers from wackily dressed student orientation leaders and a handshake from Emerson President Lee Pelton, who greeted new students and helped them unload luggage.

Pelton, move-in

Emerson President Lee Pelton helps students move into the Little Building on August 25. (Photo by Dan O'Brien)

“It’s really fun,” said her mother, Natalia Chuma. “But there’s a lot of emotions, of course.”

Pelton greeted the Chumas and several other families outside the Little Building’s Tremont Street entrance on the morning of Monday, August 25, and then did the same outside the Colonial and Piano Row buildings on Boylston Street, and the Paramount Center on Washington Street.

“It doesn’t feel real yet,” said new student Abbie Penfield ’18, of Vermont. “But I know it will be good.”


Student orientation leaders with President Lee Pelton outside the Paramount Center on August 25. (Photo by Dan O'Brien)

The annual move-in process for new students, which continues through Tuesday, August 26, has become increasingly theatrical in recent years—often causing passersby to stop and watch students singing, dancing, and quickly unloading new students’ personal items from their parents’ cars.

The goal is to get parents to drop off their new students—and get their cars off downtown Boston streets—in less than 10 minutes. Many parents meet up with their children again a short time later for a final good-bye.

Kelly move-in

Michael Kelly '15 has dressed in Emerson's purple and yellow school colors every Move-In Day the past four years. As a senior, this year will be his last. (Photo by Dan O'Brien)

“It’s the most organized move-in I’ve seen,” said Leslie Tolep of New York, the mother of Brian Tolep ’18. “This is so nice. It took us almost four hours to move in my daughter at [a university] in Florida.”

Nicol, move-in day

Emerson Athletics Director Pat Nicol shakes hands with the Tolep family outside Piano Row on Move-In Day, August 25. (Photo by Dan O'Brien)

Jon Dalager, who drove for two days from Minnesota with his wife, Teri, and their son, Casey Dalager ’18, called Emerson’s move-in process, “fantastic.”

“He’s majoring in TV writing, so this is the perfect school for him,” Jon Dalager said. “But it’s going to be hard not having him right next door.”

Visit for more information on new student orientation.


Tori Loubert '15, Carly Cazer '16, President Lee Pelton, Noelle St. Louis '15, and Connor Smith '16, on Move-In Day August 25. (Photo by Dan O'Brien)

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