Willamette University, Students at the Mill Stream

Reflections from 2009-10

Andrew McNall, Director of Parent Relations
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Many of you will be expecting your student to return home in the next few weeks (or remember this time from the past). With the end of another academic year upon us, here's a review of some stories parents found interesting this year.

In the fall, we dedicated Ford Hall, Willamette's new LEED gold-certified academic building. This facility adds 42,000 square feet of space to the university and students quickly made it a popular building. Many students take advantage of the study spaces intentionally designed to facilitate group work and interaction with faculty.

The job market is on everyone's mind and this year we made huge advances in the services and resources we offer students for their career searches. We welcomed a new Director of Career Services, Jerry Houser, last fall. Jerry will be expanding the staff in the Career Center so students have greater access to personal assistance. Students will also find an enhanced suite of online tools to help with their career searches.

Parents engage with campus life in multiple ways. Serving as career advisors is the newest way for parents to be involved. We've been pleased that more than 300 people have signed up as Career Advisors through the online database. These volunteers, many parents among them, have graciously made themselves available as contacts for students as they explore their career interests.

Our most dedicated group of parent volunteers, the Parents Advisory Council, had several significant accomplishments this year. First, they organized a group of 54 parent volunteers to make welcome phone calls to freshmen parents outside Oregon. Many new parents were grateful for the calls and we're hopeful that this year we'll have 100 volunteers so we can finally attempt to call every incoming parent. If you'd like to volunteer, please send me an email.

The Parents Advisory Council also lead our Matching Gift Campaign, providing a pool of $6,000 to match first-time gifts to the Parents Fund. We were pleasantly surprised with the response of over 120 parents who have made a total of over $10,000 in new gifts so far!

I hope your student has rewarding plans for the summer or for their current endeavor after college. Look for the next edition of the Parents Corner in August as we begin the new school year.  I look forward to renewing connections with you then.