Jodie began to sense how valuable it was for connections with faculty to be developed for freshman before they entered college. A recent Gallup survey of college students revealed that having a professor who cared about them was one of the six key experiences for student success. Clearly the pre-semester emails had that impact, but how did he impact students before the internet became available?
I have often thought of you as a calm influence in my life. I remember that my father contacted you about my I was assigned a lower-level math class my first semester in college. I can only imagine how unpleasant that call must have been. But you seemed to calm him down. At the time I thought you must have been a miracle worker. My dad is very assertive, to say the least.
During my sophomore year, you helped me get an internship with a small business in my hometown. Again, my father was upset. He thought I deserved a better internship. You were able to explain to my father why this was a great opportunity for me.
Fast forward to my senior year, I decided to start my career where I had done my internship. My father was not happy, but you helped me calm him down. He had begun to trust you.
It’s now 40 years since I graduated. That small business that I joined is now the fifth largest business of its type in America. I serve as a Vice President of one of the major divisions and had a career I never envisioned.
It’s hard to imagine where I would be today if I had started college in the wrong math class. You helped me start college where I belonged. And you were there for me all the way through.
As Jodie read the memory, it was a testimony to all six success factors identified in the Gallup survey. Connections aren’t just with students. In this case, the connections were between professor and student, parent, and employer.
Dave – Class of 1982