UM Welcomes Newest ’Canes to Campus

By Ashley A. Williams

UM Welcomes Newest ’Canes to Campus

By Ashley A. Williams
The University of Miami kicked into high gear to welcome thousands of new students and ensure move-in days were well organized and efficient.

Ryan Hansburg grew up in New York, but after several visits to check out the University of Miami, he’s more than comfortable adjusting to his new home in South Florida. 

“I grew up learning about the U being that my mom is an OG alum,” Hansburg said. “I visited the campus many times and I fell in love with it, so I’m ready to hit the ground running.” 

Hansburg was among the more than 2,300 new students who moved into the University’s residential housing complexes this week. After a week of orientation, with multiple events daily for students to participate in, the first day of classes is set for August 20. But before that gets underway, students moved into their new homes, figured out how to set up their rooms and met new roommates.

But some, like Claudia Lippman, couldn’t wait for move-in day to meet her roommate. After completing the roommate questionnaire and texting this summer, she booked a flight to New York for a meet and greet. 

“We were so excited to meet,” Lippman said. “We learned that we have so many similarities. We also have similar taste. We designed the room together and decided on a color theme together.” 


When asked what she would miss most about home while away at college, Lippman said her Maltese- Yorkie mix, Penelope. Thanks to her mom, things will be a bit more bearable. On her way to UM, she gifted her with a life-size pillow cut out of the pup. 

Luke Arends, a freshman from Minnesota, admitted that UM feels like home. 

“I chose UM because I not only fell in love with the campus, but they offered the double major that I was looking for,” Arends said as he waited in line for his new ’Cane Card. 

The University’s Coral Gables campus resembled a well-oiled machine as it handled the thousands of incoming students and their families. There were dozens of University employee volunteers stationed around campus, providing water and directions to new students and visitors. 

For the second year, University and Student Services provided its exclusive ‘Cruise Ship Move-In’ experience on Monday, August 13 and Tuesday, August 14 to the thousands of new residents arriving to begin their college career.

Once the students and their parents got to their designated residential college, they were met with applause and cheers from an energetic mob of movers eager to unload vehicles. Once unloaded, movers securely transported items in large bins to the student’s assigned room. Often times those items made it to the rooms long before the students. 

Freshman Kamilah Ruiz-Rodriguez by way of Houston, and her mother, Iris Bonet, thought the whole move-in process was brilliant. 

“It was super-fast, so fast that they beat us to the room,” Bonet said. “Everyone from the students to staff have been so helpful; everyone’s smiling and has made us feel so comfortable.” 

Leslie Knecht, a chemistry lecturer, not only will teach undergraduates this fall, she’ll live alongside them. She recently moved into the Stanford Residential College to serve as residential faculty. 

“There’s been so much good energy the past couple days,” Knecht said. “Many students are surprised to know that faculty actually lives here. I make an effort to let the students and their parents know that I am here to help them succeed.” 

Patricia A. Whitely, vice president for student affairs, said students and their family’s main concern is safety and she assures them of that: “We are doing all that we can to ensure that their children are well taken care of—and fed,” she said with a smile. 

Another campus favorite among newcomers was the Bed Bath & Beyond Campus Ready pop-up shop, available for last-minute items that may have been forgotten. 

For parents Donna and Rick Dalton, this was their third daughter to leave home for college. When asked about the Cruise Ship Move-In, they didn’t hesitate to claim UM as the easiest move-in of them all.   

“We were coming here not really knowing what to expect,” said Rick. “But this has been such a difference from our other experiences. It’s been a breeze. We have so much extra time and we can really enjoy Miami with our daughter before saying goodbye.” 

Greg Baum, who graduated from UM in 1988 and is father of incoming freshman Sydney, noted: “I must admit… this is far better than what I had. The move-in process was very streamlined and efficient.” 

Department of Housing and Residential Life expected nearly 4,250 residents (including upperclassman) to check in by the end of the week. 

To see the full list of ’Cane Kickoff events for students and families click here.