We Went There: Summerville’s First Day

Smiles, hellos, and how-do-you-dos permeated the lively atmosphere as GRU apparel dominated the choice of dress across campus.

The first day of undergrad had begun.

Week of Welcome presents many opportunities to connect to campus, from ClubFest to a night at Adventure Crossing to a chance to Rock the Wellness Center. But on the first day, it’s about getting one’s feet moving the right direction.

Students donned their GRU gear to show their spirit, making it impossible to walk a few steps without seeing a blue, gray, or white shirt bearing the logo. Some took selfies and sent them to @GeorgiaRegents, hoping to win one of a few prizes awarded that day – or be selected for a prize to be awarded later in the week for showcasing their school pride.

Small tents had popped up near the Jaguar Student Activities Center, the Main Fountain, and Science Hall to offer anyone a refreshing lemonade or water and the chance to ask for directions – and a hug or wave if it happened to be a friend.

But if one walked anywhere outside, the voice of head men’s basketball coach Dip Metress could be heard permeating the buzz of students talking and birds chirping.
“C’mon, you want to shoot? Oh, don’t be shy, your friend just missed it twice.”

For hours, Metress offered students a chance: Shoot a ball into a basketball hoop, win a T-shirt. Sometimes he’d needle the shooter, asking what school he’d graduated from and then asking once an air ball flew over the hoop “Did they have P.E. at your school?” He encouraged others, especially those admitting they’d never shot a ball before.

One by one, students, faculty, and even some senior administrators stepped up and hoped Dip wouldn’t have a laugh at their expense (and perhaps win a free shirt or in some cases, a basketball).

But once afternoon hit, a backhoe standing forebodingly next to Metress and head women’s basketball coach Nate Teymer (who’d been looking on) was put to use. As both coaches stood beneath the backhoe’s outstretched arm, it turned … and dumped numbing ice and water on the pair, their part of the nationally known #ALSIceBucketChallenge complete.

Just another step of progress on a jam-packed first day at Summerville.