ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Students moving into Grand Valley State University Wednesday were greeted by the university’s top leadership.

GVSU President Philomena Mantella was on campus filming her “Philly on the Street” 2023 move-in episode. She interacted with new students and asked them questions for the show.

Mantella said it takes a lot of coordination for move-in day to run smoothly.

“There are police officers, there’s volunteers, there’s alumni volunteers. We consider it our joy to do this,” Mantella said. “I started my morning over at the alumni center to a full room of people coming out here, ready to sweat, ready to carry boxes, ready to meet the new students. But also our faculty and staff and our upper-class students, a lot of the students that are in service and groups, athletics — they’re all a part of the volunteer force.”

This year’s incoming class is the largest in GVSU history, with more than 7,000 new undergraduate and graduate students.

More than 6,200 of those students are staying in residence halls. The university has leased Campus West Apartments in order to accommodate the increase in students. The complex will be operated as a residence hall called “GV West” with resident advisors and resident directors. 

One freshman student told News 8 she’s excited to see more diversity on campus.

“I like the opportunity that Hispanics have here. I joined a program called Laker Familia,” Brianna Arvizu said. “Obviously it’s scary to come to a place where you know that the majority of people are white, so I was a little anxious, a little nervous. So being able to join this program is not only helping me find people that look just like me but also create new friendships and just meet new people. That’s what I’m looking forward to this year.”

Grand Valley’s academic year officially begins with convocation, which is Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. at the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena. Classes start Aug. 28.