Fayetteville State University welcomes new students to campus – News – The Fayetteville Observer

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Storage containers, televisions and wardrobes were lugged across Fayetteville State University on Saturday, marking 547 freshmen and transfer students moving in for a new school year.

Keeping an eye on her daughter’s comforter and items in the hallway of Renaissance Hall as her daughter was at the Rudolph Jones Student Center to obtain her student identification card, was Carrianne Hilliard of Charlotte.

Hilliard’s daughter, Mi’Ana Hilliard, transferred to FSU from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Mi’Ana Hilliard said she left the college in Greensboro that has more than 25,000 students for a college with more of a “community feel.”

“I don’t want to feel like a number,” said Mi’Ana Hilliard, an intelligence studies major, who plans to work with the Department of Defense after college. “I want to feel like I matter.”

And FSU is where both of her mother’s parents met while attending the local university in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Carrianne Hilliard also is attending college online for her master’s in business administration degree as she operates her business that works with youth development in Charlotte.

“The level of nourishing is so impressive,” Carrianne Hilliard said of her confidence that her daughter will excel at FSU.

Greeting Hilliard and other families Saturday were resident assistants, Student Government Association representatives and Peggy Valentine, the FSU interim chancellor.

”For our students, it’s an exciting time in their lives,” Valentine said. “They’ll get a chance to be transformed from a high school student  to a college student and then to becoming a professional to become a major contributor to our society in a positive way, because that’s what higher education does — it transforms.”

Known as “Operation Smooth Move,” Saturday was about welcoming new students to the “Bronco family” ahead of classes starting Wednesday.

One of those new faces is transfer student Nick Dinnall, who unpacked items in Willis McLeod Hall as his mother, Okeiya Dinnall, folded clothes and his father, Fray Dinnall, set up a television and game system in his dorm room.

Originally from Shallotte,  Nick Dinnall had worked at a family ice cream shop along the beach while attending his freshman year of college at Brunswick Community College.

“It’s more different from being home and driving to class everyday, so now I’m here and have to walk,” he said. “Everything I need is like in my dorm.  It’s a whole different feeling.”

He lived at home when attending the community college, and this will be his first year away from home.

Nick Dinnall is famililar with the Fayetteville area. His older sister attended Methodist University and has been stationed at Fort Bragg with the Army.

His own plans are to major in graphics and visual arts and  to help local businesses with graphic designs, billboards and promotions.

“He’s been a responsible young man and so I know it’s time for him to spread his wings,” said Okeiya Dinnall, who described the moment as bittersweet.

Fray Dinnall, who  originally is from the Caribbean islands, described his son’s venture to college and moving out as exciting.

“In Caribbean culture, once a child reaches at least 20, they’re supposed to move on,” Fray Dinnall said. “So this is a good thing.”

Staff writer Rachael Riley can be reached at rriley@fayobserver.com or 910-486-3528.



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