LeShonda Reed, a Winthrop University alumna hung her freshman daughter’s clothes neatly in the closet.
A bin full of hangers, a desklamp, comforter set and miniature ironing board surrounded Reed on Friday as she paused to remember how it felt when she came to Rock Hill more than two decades ago.
The St. Stephen resident can’t believe her 17-year-old daughter LaJ’ai Reed is in college, she said.
Across the room, LaJ’ai’s dad, Tony Reed, unpacked his daughter’s comforter set and made her bed.
“He was thinking she might go to his college,” LeShonda Reed said with a smile on her face.
Winthrop’s campus and Rock Hill have changed quite a bit since she left in the mid-1990s, LeShonda Reed said. The only place she remembers to eat, other than the campus cafeteria, was a Pizza Hut, she said.
Packing the parking lots in front of the residence halls, hundreds of parents, grandparents, siblings and students hauled in armfuls of clothes, televisions and bins full of snacks.
Many students – and their parents – wore garnet and gold shirts and hats. A family of six walked to Richardson Hall with matching Winthrop shirts.
Heading the pack, a man and woman with “Winthrop Mom” and “Winthrop Dad” shirts proudly walked to their daughter’s new home.
More than 6,100 undergraduates and graduates start classes this semester at Winthrop.
Saturday kicks off Welcome Week on campus, with daily entertainment through Aug. 27. Winthrop President Dan Mahony and local leaders will welcome students to campus 3:30 p.m. Monday during the Convocation ceremony at Byrnes Auditorium.
Tracy Kimball: 803-329-4084