The Catholic University of America

Aug. 25, 2011

The Garveys Help Freshmen Move In

  President John Garvey pitches in as freshmen move in at Centennial Village.

President John Garvey and his wife Jeanne, wearing bright yellow T-shirts that said “Welcome!” on the front and “Cardinal move-in crew” on the back, looked like pros as they carted boxes up the steps of Quinn and Reardon residence halls.

Since 1994, when the oldest of their five children started college, the Garveys have been part of the late-summer ritual of moving kids into residence halls.

“We’ve been doing this for 17 years,” said Jeanne Garvey as she grabbed a box out of a mini van from New York. The Garveys were at Centennial Village on Aug. 25 to help members of the class of 2015 and their families get a start on college life.

Beginning at 8 a.m., cars from New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and beyond began driving up the hill at Centennial Village. Each car was greeted by a team of student orientation advisers, resident advisers, and campus ministers.

For fun, each of the teams took on a name from the animal kingdom. Jeanne Garvey quickly joined “Team Llama” as they swarmed the car of freshman Caitlin Roberts from Manhasset, N.Y.

As the students began unloading boxes and suitcases, Jeanne greeted Caitlin’s mom, Diane Roberts. “Welcome to Catholic University,” said the President’s wife, and soon the two moms were comparing notes about the happy, yet sad occasion of bringing a freshman to college move-in day.

“She was lovely,” said Diane. “We already had a good impression of the University. We have several friends who have had a child go to school here and they were all thrilled with the experience,” she said. “Being greeted by the President and his wife certainly adds to the feeling of excitement and confidence we all have.”

Justin Velez of Nanuet, N.Y., moves into Reardon House.


Caitlin is a nursing major and her mom is a nurse. “I’m so proud. And I’m already getting choked up,” said Diane.

While Jeanne and Team Llama were helping freshmen girls move into Quinn, Garvey and “Team Manatee” were helping the boys move into Reardon Hall. Freshmen moved into single-sex residence halls this fall as part of a change to Catholic University’s housing policy. Eventually, all students living on campus will be housed in single-sex residence halls.

Bill Wellock, a 1981 CUA graduate from Reading, Pa., was busy moving his son Christopher into Quinn, when he stopped to shake hands with Garvey. “I’m happy about the change,” he said in reference to Garvey’s decision to move the University back to single-sex residence halls. “I think it helps students stay focused; less distractions”

Garvey greeted the Cork family from Patchogue, N.Y. They told him their son Tyler was their oldest, and Jackie Cork admitted she was nervous about him starting college. Garvey learned that Tyler will play CUA varsity baseball and then Jackie asked Garvey if he teaches at the University. “You’re the president?” she said with a loud laugh. “I had no idea! I’m not so nervous any more.”

Later Cork said meeting President Garvey made quite an impression on her. “What a nice man; so down to earth. He talked with us on such a personal level. Everyone here has been so welcoming. I feel a lot more confident about leaving Tyler. Although I’m still going to have a good cry.”

Making freshmen and their families feel welcome is the primary goal of orientation, said Bronwen McAuliffe, a senior from Portsmouth, R.I. She and senior Josh Monroe from Aurora, Ohio, led a team of 75 student orientation advisers. The two student coordinators have been working to prepare for orientation since January.

CUA’s four-day orientation program features a variety of programs and events to help new students transition to University life before beginning classes on Monday, Aug. 29.

Jeanne Garvey greets parent Diane Roberts of Manhasset, N.Y., who is on campus to help her daughter Caitlin move into her new residence hall.


As McAuliffe watched teams of student orientation advisers, resident advisers, and campus ministers help freshmen and their families move in, she said “This proves to me that CUA really is one big welcoming family. Move-in day can be so overwhelming. I love to see the smiles on students’ and parents’ faces as they begin to relax and feel at home here. And that happens right away.”

Senior Lisa Nucera of Clarke, N.J., is serving as an orientation adviser for the third year. The architecture major said, “I had such a great transition to CUA. I wanted to pass it on. Plus it really is a lot of fun. I get to do this with all of my friends.” Nucera and her team shouted their mantra “Best move-in ever!” and they ran off to help unload a car from New Jersey.

After more than an hour helping new students move into their rooms at Quinn, Jeanne Garvey said she is glad she got to meet so many new freshmen. “I may not be great with names, but I am very good with faces. I’ll remember seeing these students around campus this year. And I look forward to checking up on them and finding out how they are doing.”

She also said she hoped she was a help to families beyond carrying boxes. “As a mother, I see the worry in parents’ eyes. I was so glad I could tell them, ‘Don’t worry, they will be well cared for and loved here. You can feel confident leaving them at The Catholic University of America.’”

More news from CUA