HAMPTON — Hampton University welcomed about 1,000 new students Friday and Saturday as freshmen moved into the dorms on campus.
While many of those students sang, danced, chanted and cheered at an event at Armstrong Stadium meant to welcome the newcomers, some parents looked on.
Romeo Deloatch of Hampton said his daughter Romeshia was starting at Hampton University. It was an emotional moment for Deloatch — he'd lost his wife and the mother of his three children a year and a half ago and said seeing his "baby girl" move out and start a new chapter was the realization of all the hard work his wife had put into raising her.
"This is my baby, but I've got to let her lose," he said through tears. "My baby is blossoming."
But Romeshia isn't out of dad's watchful gaze just yet — Deloatch said he gave her advisers his cell number so they could call him if there was ever any issue.
"She doesn't want them to call me," he chuckled. "I'm only five minutes away. I'll check up on her but I've got to give her some leeway."
Some of the new HU students come from Hampton or Newport News, but there are freshmen from every corner of the nation and the globe. Students from 35 states and the District of Columbia, 16 countries and four continents showed up ready to start the next level of their education this weekend.
Tracy Samuels said his daughter Treliah had wanted to go out of state for school, but his family hadn't realized just how out of state she meant — the Samuels clan flew from Orlando, Fla., to move her in this weekend.
Samuels said his daughter was the noise maker of the house, the one who brightened up the room, and said her departure hadn't really set in yet.
"It's unreal. It hasn't hit me yet. I'm sure when we go home and see the empty house, it'll hit us," Samuels said. But he's not worried for her. Treliah is ecstatic to be heading to school and outgoing, so she'll make friends easily, he said. Plus, family friends live close by, so someone will always be around to help her out.
"Between phones, Skype, Twitter and everything else, we'll be in touch often," he said. "If all else fails, we'll buy a plane ticket."
Murphy can be reached by phone at 757-247-4760.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun