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CMU welcomes Class of 2021

Jamie Martines
| Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, 3:24 p.m.

Carnegie Mellon University welcomed about 1,670 new students to campus during carefully orchestrated move-in festivities on Saturday.

The Oakland campus hosts students from across the country and around the world.

"I expected total chaos, and it has been incredibly well run," said parent Richard Grosso, standing by while a swarm of upperclassmen assisted with unloading his rental car. He flew up to Pittsburgh from Plantation, Florida and shipped his son's belongings ahead of time.

Other out-of-state parents took a similar approach, foregoing long road trips in crammed cars and instead choosing to fly. Ron Mass, a parent from Santa Monica, California, took that strategy a step further. He saved all of his son's back-to-school shopping for when they arrived in Pittsburgh and packed it all in the back of his rental car, a spacious pickup truck.

While parents pondered logistics and prepped for impending goodbyes, some students of the Class of 2021 were already looking ahead to where the next four years might take them.

"I heard that academically, it's pretty tough, but I'm ready for the challenge," said Brian Lew, 19.

Lew, who plans to major in biology, attended boarding school in Connecticut and Massachusetts but is from South Korea. He said talking to friends and former classmates who have attended CMU has helped him prepare for difficult coursework and the job search ahead of him.

Both Lew and his classmate, Bill Gao, 19, said that they're already thinking about what it might take to secure a visa to stay in the United States and work after college.

Gao, who also attended boarding school in Connecticut but is from China, is considering a degree in urban planning. He said that stricter visa guidelines, such as income requirements or the types of occupations that help an individual qualify for a work visa, are definitely on his mind but might be more of a concern closer to graduation.

Parents Michael and Anna Iacobellis of Kings Park, New York, who already went through the college selection process once with their older son, said that affordability, reputation and distance from home were all factors they considered when helping their son choose a school.

Their son, Joseph, is confident in his decision to attend CMU. He chose the school because it offered a strong civil engineering program, and thinks this will help him find a job after college.

"I feel like there's always a need for people who know how to build," he said.

Jamie Martines is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-850-2867, jmartines@tribweb.com or on Twitter @Jamie_Martines.

Carnegie Mellon University students are given help unloading their things during move-in day in Oakland on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Carnegie Mellon University students are given help unloading their things during move-in day in Oakland on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.
Carnegie Mellon University students are given help unloading their things during move-in day in Oakland on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Carnegie Mellon University students are given help unloading their things during move-in day in Oakland on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.
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