DARTMOUTH — For those who have experienced it, the first year of college is the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in life. That chapter begins, however, with a typically chaotic move-in day involving thousands of first year students and their families.

That’s the case for the 1,425 first-year students moving into residence halls at UMASS Dartmouth on Sunday.

UMASS Dartmouth Chancellor Robert Johnson greeted new students and their families at Chestnut and Elmwood Halls while the first arrivals showed up in the morning.

Johnson took the time to speak with WBSM News over the phone while touring the campus and greeting incoming families.

“Everybody is in good spirits and we’re really excited. We’re excited about the fact that for our freshman class it looks like we’re going to have an 11-percent increase year over year,” said Johnson.

The expected increase in size of incoming freshman classes can be traced to the freshman class currently moving in. The University says that the 1,425 students in the Class of 2022 are from 289 Massachusetts cities and towns, 22 states, and 9 countries outside the U.S.

Joining them are roughly 500 transfer students and over 200 former Mount Ida Students. Mount Ida College closed earlier this year.

“It’s a very great and diverse background in terms of where our students are coming from in terms of country and ethnicity and all of the other variables. We’re really excited about this year’s freshman class,” Johnson said.

Students can also look forward utilizing the University’s newest additions to residential life.  In November, the University is planning to break ground this fall on a $107.8 million, 267,500 square foot housing development project that will serve 1,210 first-year students. The new housing will feature academic classrooms, multimedia and study lounges, demonstration kitchens, and recreation space. The housing will be co-located with a $26.1 million, 38,000 square foot student dining commons with a capacity of 800 people.

This academic year will also see the start of renovations to the 177,000 square foot science and engineering building. The $54 million project will focus on the building systems, including roofs, windows, heating, and ventilation.

When asked if he had any advice for incoming first-year students, Chancellor Johnson urges them to “get involved.”

“The advice that I would give students moving in on our college campus, or any other college campus, is to get connected. Join an organization, a club, participate in the sporting activities and become part of the campus community because that will enhance your overall university experience.”

Student volunteers will help new students and their families with the move in process.

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