Despite rain, first-years find their way on move-in day

Hopi Hoekstra, the newly installed Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, was seen transporting one especially big box with the help of Alta Mauro, associate dean of students for Inclusion & Belonging. “The thing that gets me,” Hoekstra shared between hauls, “is when you see the Harvard Mom and Harvard Dad shirts.”

Pride was a prevailing theme for family members who paused to reflect on the day. First-year Dontae Christie drove from San Antonio, Texas, with his parents and younger siblings, all five decked out in crisp Harvard T-shirts. “I can’t believe I’m standing on this campus right now,” offered Dontae’s father, Ralin, as he popped the back of their SUV outside Canady Hall. “Not too many people get accepted to Harvard where we come from.”

Sharat Ramaraju with son Nikhil Ramaraju ’27 in front of Wigglesworth Hall.

Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

Some parents, like Jackie Jordan-Ramaraju, a beaming mother from Bettendorf, Iowa, expressed full confidence in their first-years. “He’s ready,” she said of her son, Nikhil Ramaraju, as they stood outside his new home in Wigglesworth Hall. “He’s been ready for a long time.”

Others took the opportunity to marvel over a child’s accomplishment. Inside Weld Hall, the upbeat music of Taylor Swift and Prince rang out as Yoonhyuk Ro walked his daughter, McKayla, to her third-floor room. “This is a dream come true,” said the father from Gainesville, Florida, who honored the occasion by donning a Harvard sweater. “She set her sights on Harvard all the way back in elementary school.”

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