Move-In Weekend unites La Salle’s newest and returning residential students

August 30, 2022

In all, nearly 900 students settled into the University’s residence halls.

Kalea Albanese, ’26, packed up two vehicles before hitting the road to La Salle University for the first day of Move-In Weekend, which is reserved for new students.

Albanese, a native of Easton, Pa., brought a big entourage—mom, dad, and four siblings. She had everything she needed. Mini-fridge? Check. Flat-screen TV? Check. A 10-year plan? You bet.

“I have big dreams,” Albanese said, smiling.

Albanese is one of nearly 900 new and returning students who moved into campus residence halls over Move-In Weekend, getting cozy in their homes away from home for the 2022-23 academic year. La Salle’s first-year and transfer students represent the University’s first increase in enrollment since 2018.

Though it was the first day writing her La Salle story, Albanese has it all mapped out. She will double-major in English and education in the School of Arts and Sciences. Her aim is to study abroad, begin her career teaching English internationally, and earn a doctorate along the way. Like her paternal grandfather, she wants to become a college professor.

“I’m definitely excited,” she said.

So was Joanna Grillo, ’26, of Staten Island, N.Y. Admittedly, she experienced a range of emotions. “I’m feeling everything—excited, giddy, and maybe a little nervous,” said Grillo, who will major in nursing in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. “I’m ready to get started because I know the strength of this nursing program. So I guess you’d say it’s a good kind of nervous.”

Grillo aspires to be a travel nurse, particularly one improving access to health care in impoverished nations. Grillo was pushing an oversize cart through the parking lot outside St. Basil Court—a cart that was noticeably light. “That’s because we’ve already made about nine trips,” she said with a laugh, noting that she did forget one thing: a lanyard for her new La Salle ID.

Cars dotted the parking lots across South Campus, with residential students unpacking cars and packing up carts, handtrucks, and boxes. Some got a lift from La Salle President Daniel J. Allen, Ph.D., who greeted students and families and lent a hand getting their belongings into St. Basil.

In the midst of Move-In Weekend activities, mother-daughter duo Melissa and Katie Brum, ’26, got to work decorating Katie’s residence hall room.

A nursing major, Katie chose La Salle because it “had all the good feels,” her mom said. Melissa said it reminded her of the university she attended in Newport, Rhode Island. Coincidentally, Brum’s roommate travelled a similar distance to attend La Salle, relocating to Philadelphia from a town in Massachusetts that borders Brum’s.

The temptation to bring more than a student needs is always present, said Max Bricker, ’26, while waiting in line for his “New in ’22” T-shirt. “But I knew better than to overpack,” said Bricker, a native of Richland, Pa.

Thankfully, Bricker said, he benefited from experience. That’s because he’s the youngest of two sons at La Salle, joining his older brother Alex, ’23, MBA ’23, in the School of Business. Max will major in business systems and analytics and minor in sport management, hoping to work professionally in the front office of a sports franchise; big brother Alex, who is finishing his accelerated 4-year B.S./MBA program, has an offer from PwC waiting for him.

La Salle’s strong reputation in job placement for its graduating students helped lure Max to 20th and Olney, he said, flanked by his parents. “I’m very happy to be here,” he added.

—Christopher A. Vito and Meg Ryan