Updated Aug. 20, 2021 at 1:12 p.m. to include video from the Historic Neighborhood.

Cars line East Haggard and boxes fill Historic Neighborhood while parents soak in the last few days before they say goodbye — leaving their children to start their college journeys at Elon University. 

Tracy Cutone said she’s experiencing a range of emotions dropping off her daughter, freshman Sammy Cutone, on Friday. 

“I’m happy, I’m sad, I’m nervous, I’m excited,” Cutone said.

Though she’s sad to be apart from Sammy, Cutone said she is eager for the new experiences that will come over the next four years. The COVID-19 pandemic brought many uncertainties, but also more time was spent together — making this year’s goodbye all the more difficult. 

Tracy said the trip from Colorado to Elon was long, but worth it to move her first child into college. 

Smiling behind her mask, parent Tabitha Elien moved her daughter Kaelyn into the communications living learning community in Sloan Hall. From Chapel Hill, Elien said this is her second child she’s moved into college and though she’s become used to having her home, she couldn’t be happier for what’s ahead.

Like Elien, freshman Caroline Sekunda’s father, Rich Sekunda said though he’s done the move-in process before with his son, who attended The College of New Jersey, this one feels different. 

“It’s my little girl,” Sekunda said. 

Over at Smith Hall, Doug Ginevan’s son Grayson said he is looking forward to the warmer weather on campus from their home in Maine. 

“When Grayson started looking at schools and came across Elon, it really sort of fit the bill of what we're looking for,” Doug said. “Great academics, great community, great opportunities for study abroad and service learning.” 

Greeted by students, Doug said he and Grayson felt welcomed and at home. 

“Today's day one, and we're off to a tremendous start,” Doug said. “From students welcoming us clapping on the way into the unbelievable support moving into Smith.” 

Grayson is hoping for a regular college experience and his dad wishes he could tag along. 

“I'll be sad to leave,” Doug said. “I'd like to stay for four years” 


Emery Eisner and Sophie Rosenthal contributed to the reporting of this story.