Case Studies College & University Move-Out During COVID-19

In the wake of COVID-19, Hilldrup had a plan for the college and university campuses that needed to relocate students and their belongings.

Men outside of a truck

COVID-19’s Impact on Colleges and Universities

Hilldrup employee stacking boxes into storage crate

University students across the country didn’t complete their spring 2020 semester the way anyone could have envisioned it. Rather than taking final exams in classrooms, preparing for graduation commencement ceremonies, and of course, packing up their “home away from home” – COVID-19 quickly put a wrench in the plans of students, and university parents and administrators alike.

With so much uncertainty, one of the questions that Hilldrup continually posed was, what can we do to help? And in the minds of academic faculty throughout the U.S. there was the question of, how do we get students, and their personal belongings, moved out of campus as safely, and quickly, as possible?

Thankfully, Hilldrup had a solution with the assets and professionals to make it happen. With ten branches located throughout major metropolitan markets across the southeastern and mid-Atlantic United States, our professionals were able to step in quickly to help.


Since 1903, Hilldrup has been proud to serve the moving, storage and logistics needs of colleges and universities. From relocating university athletic directors, including Carla Williams of the University of Virginia (UVA), to university presidents like the University of Mary Washington’s (UMW) Dr. Troy Paino, moving those who keep universities running and thriving is what Hilldrup consistently does. This time, in the wake of COVID-19, our moving services solutions expanded to university students and meeting the unique challenges of safely packing and storing their items without them being on campus.

In fact, our team needed to accommodate any potential “unknowns” as best as possible. As such, we needed to think through the following scenarios:

Would students move back to campus in the fall? Are students’ permanent residences in the United States or abroad? Would students have the option to retrieve their items or is access to their dorms currently not available per their university?

Two men loading boxes into truck

To accommodate, Hilldrup’s moving, storage and logistics solutions specifically consisted of:

  • Mobilizing our teams to execute the best possible move programs suited to the specific needs of the university and its students
  • Delivering boxes for students to use to self-pack their dorm, student apartment, etc.
  • Providing on-site labor from Hilldrup to assist students with move out
    • Lifting heavy items
    • Providing wrapping and packing services
    • Organizing and labeling items to be packed
  • Offering storage solutions for students until fall semester by utilizing Hilldrup’s secure storage warehouse facilities
    • Hilldrup’s warehouse facilities included those in our locations of Dulles, VA; Stafford, VA; Richmond, VA; Raleigh-Durham, NC and Greenville, SC.
  • Tracking shipments through Hilldrup’s electronic-inventory systems so as to immediately track and organize all items within Hilldrup’s storage facilities in real-time
  • Utilizing specialized warehousing solutions to allow for easy access to students who would be retrieving their items from Hilldrup’s warehouse facilities
  • Developing creative, customized solutions for students based on when and where they wanted their items returned
    • Self-pick-up options at our facilities
    • Shipping items to students’ permanent address
    • Short-term or long-term storage based on students’ needs for upcoming semester(s)

Who We Assisted 

Tailored to each specific university’s needs and desires for their students, Hilldrup was pleased to provide a range of moving and storage solutions for the following universities and colleges throughout the southeastern United States:

  • Clemson University – Clemson, SC
  • Coppin State University – Baltimore, MD
  • Duke University – Durham, NC
  • George Washington University – Washington, D.C.
  • Georgetown University – Washington, D.C.
  • Marymount University – Arlington, VA
  • North Carolina State – Raleigh, NC
  • Shenandoah University – Winchester, VA
  • University of Virginia – Charlottesville, VA

We were honored to be a helping hand to so many campuses and students across the Southeast and appreciate their trust in our team to deliver safe, timely and exceptional results!

Despite the unknowns of what is to come as universities throughout the country prepare for the future semester, Hilldrup is prepared to deliver the moving and storage needs of universities – whatever they may be!

Project Overview

Project Type

Workplace Solutions

The logistics of moving hundreds of students out of their campuses unexpectedly is challenging enough.  Add in a pandemic and students who are moving back home all over the country, and the challenge is even larger.  Our team moved quickly to ensure every detail was handled safely and efficiently for the many students and universities assisted.

Charlie McDaniel, Hilldrup's Director of Logistics Services