As the inaugural class (2018) of Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) prepares for their upcoming orientation, there is no question; preparing to move and settling in can be daunting. Incoming COM student, Emily Hillaker, was amazed at the response she personally received when she asked for help moving into her new home.
Prior to relocating into Virginia from her home state of Michigan, Emily’s husband, Andrew, injured his hand preventing him to do any heavy lifting. Realizing she and Andrew were on a strict-time crunch with rented moving vehicles, she quickly took to social media asking for help through a student-run Facebook group page: Families and Spouses of LUCOM Class of 2018. “My husband and I were on our way from Michigan, a 16-hour drive, and had very little time to get everything into our new Virginia home,” said Emily. “After arriving and to our surprise, we saw an enormous crowd ready to help us move in; people we’ve never met before.”
More than 20 volunteers, including faculty, staff, and LUCOM student-physicians arrived for Emily and Andrew. They were completely moved in within 15 minutes. Commenting on the support from the faculty and staff, and also in attendance, Dr. Ronnie Martin, Dean of LUCOM, said, “This is the type of environment we want to create for our student-physicians. We want them to feel welcomed and know that we are a family.”
Emily first learned of LUCOM from her husband. As she recalls, “Throughout my application process and long hours of research on medical schools, Andrew heard that his online school [Liberty University] was opening an DO school. He strongly encouraged me to apply.” Andrew will complete his Masters of Divinity in 2016.
When asked why she chose to study at LUCOM, Emily said, “When I came to interview with Liberty, I fell in love with the atmosphere. Everyone was welcoming and kind. The faculty and staff let me know that they were there to help me become a doctor. Simply put, they won my heart over.”
Once Emily was accepted into the program, both she and her husband quickly realized they had to leave Michigan. “Emily wanted to pursue her dream. I just wanted to do whatever I could, to support her,” said Andrew when he was asked about leaving their home state.
According to Andrew their transition across states has been a great experience. After acceptance into LUCOM, their house was placed on the market and within ten days they had an offer. Additionally Andrew received a position with an insurance company allowing him to work from home, while Emily starts LUCOM in August. “There is no doubt that God has had His hands in our lives throughout this entire application and transitioning process. We are so thankful for the support from the COM family and so glad we made a decision to move. Certainly the Lord has worked everything out for us,” concluded Andrew.