The President of Northwestern, Morty Schapiro, has a goal to have dinner with every student at Northwestern at some point during his or her undergraduate career. He is always hosting dinners at his house for different student groups; I just went last week to a meal he hosted for members of our Segal Visitors Center staff. Dinner is wonderful, and a nice perk is the to-go boxes that we all receive; he tells us to fill them with as many desserts as possible. After dinner is served and before the desserts come out, he often asks students to share stories about their Northwestern experience. My story of choice is about my first day on campus as a Northwestern student and moving into my dorm.

On that day, I had just returned from an Alternative Student Break trip and met my parents at the Norris University Center. We drove from there to my dorm, 1835 Hinman, and our rental car had a decent amount of stuff in it. Suitcases and boxes filled the trunk and backseat of the small car, and as we pulled up to the dorm I worked to disentangle myself from all of that. Suddenly, a group of about four current students came over to our car and offered to carry all of my stuff. With their help, we managed to move everything in a single trip. As soon as they dropped everything off, they welcomed me to Northwestern and hurried to help the next student. I later learned that they were members of the Purple Posse, a group of students that comes to school early every year to help incoming students move in.

If that helpful experience was the only good part about that day, I would already have a pretty decent story. However, it got even better. Since we moved everything so quickly, I was able to walk around campus with my parents a little and relax. We walked on the lawn by Norris and were trying to figure out how to take a picture of all of us by the lagoon. Again, an older Northwestern student came running out of nowhere and offered to take a picture of us together. She said that she had been up on the second floor of Norris and noticed us struggling with the picture. I still am not sure how she moved so quickly to get down there and take a picture, but she was a huge help.

It was a really good sign for me on my first day to see so many current students excited to meet and help the incoming students on their transition into college. And I’m sure that Morty appreciates hearing this about the students; stories like these probably make him even more eager to have dinner with as many students as possible.

–Jason Smith

Photo: Northwestern Magazine.

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