The University of Vermont’s Class of 2023 received some unexpected help during move-in day on Friday. Students opened their car doors to find Father Dwight Baker and Franciscan Sister of the Eucharist Regina Cochran ready to assist in carrying items into their dorms.

For the past eight years, students and staff from the Catholic Center at UVM have volunteered during Move-in Day to unpack cars, guide students around their dorms, and help them settle into their new homes.

“It is wonderful to be able to help people and their gratitude goes a long way too but mostly I remember being in that situation and I appreciated the help that I got,” said Alaina Carstensen, a junior at UVM.

The group received positive comments, especially Father and Sister.

“Most people seemed to be happy to see a priest and Sister Regina. … It’s nice to see they like our presence even though this is not a Catholic School, I think they were maybe a little surprised but I think they liked that we were right there helping everyone else,” said Father Dwight Baker, Director of the Catholic Center.

However, the hospitality didn’t stop there. The Catholic Center also puts on a yearly Welcome to Campus Barbecue for the incoming students and their families.

“On campus, there are very few dining options until this evening and it’s very hectic driving around Burlington, so we started offering this barbecue for the students and their families as a way to ease their stress levels and also to show them where we are and to welcome them to the Catholic Center,” said Father Baker.

More than 450 people, both Catholics and non-Catholics, enjoyed the food and lawn games.

“We just think it’s great that we can represent the Catholic Center by being very welcoming and it’s a hectic time for the students and their parents and it just gives them some comfort to know that we have a community here at UVM that’s really helpful,” said Father Baker.