Jodie had begun to notice that not all entries in the memory book were from former students. There was one from the President of the university, and it offered a different sense of connected learning.
My wife launched a Parents Club to help our parents understand the experiences of our students. We have a large percentage of first generation students, so these clubs are vital in comforting parents who have anxieties about what their students are experiencing.
When Susan would launch a Parents Club in a community, she was constantly hearing your name. What she began to understand was that you send parents an email each week telling them what their students will be experiencing that week.
The fear among educators is that parents will interfere with their students’ education. We have called those helicopter parents. Your emails have been the antidote to that interference. You have engaged parents’ understanding without provoking them to interfere. Somehow you have found that sweet spot in communications.
In my visits around the state and to alumni chapters, I’m hearing that you are providing parents an education in being a parent of a college age student. Many of them have told me that they have reached out to you with questions, and that your responses have always been reassuring.
What I’ve recently begun to realize is that those emails have helped us in our recruiting. Parents talk to parents of prospective students and have become our ambassadors. You have developed a referral network for our recruitment efforts.
I just wish that I could find faculty in other colleges who would do what you do. We really need more messaging from those who teach, rather than from our communications staff. Thanks so much.
David (University President)