Welcome to each of you from the Parents Association. This year promises to be a very exciting one, filled with Hawkeye tradition and spirit as well as great educational opportunities. It also marks the start of a new chapter in UI history as we welcome President Sally Mason.
As the daughter of Hawkeye alumni and the parent of a current UI senior, I continue to be amazed at the countless avenues for growth and development available on this beautiful Midwestern campus. Our students are embarking on a fabulous journey, picking up invaluable interpersonal skills and cultural awareness along the way, and I encourage parents to tag along. Become familiar with campus events and programming—it will help you get involved in University life and create communication channels with your student.
Attending Family Weekend, Oct. 26–28, is a great start. Athletics director Gary Barta is scheduled to speak in Hubbard Park at the Black and Gold Tailgate, sponsored by the Parents Association. For registration information, see http://imu.uiowa.edu/familyweekend.
There are many additional ways to soak up campus life, and this issue of Parent Times highlights a number of them. The University’s cultural outlets, for example, have something for everyone. Last spring my husband and I attended La Bohème, an opera production of the School of Music. Although our student wasn’t able to join us, we thoroughly enjoyed it—the student singers and musicians were wonderful.
Kinnick Stadium is known to most Hawkeye fans, but not everyone is as familiar with the inspiring life of the facility’s namesake. The words of 1939 Heisman Trophy winner and senior class president Nile Kinnick convey a worldview from which we can all learn. The UI Athletics Hall of Fame features a display on Kinnick—who was killed in 1943 during a Navy training mission—that includes several of his letters and a recording of his Heisman acceptance speech.
A leisurely stroll around campus reveals diverse architecture and award-winning buildings. The University of Iowa Guide to Campus Architecture, published by the UI Press, offers perspective through photos and histories of campus buildings, from the new Art Building West to the magnificently restored Old Capitol. This fall the University breaks ground on the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center—a student hub for healthy living.
Remember, this is a tough time for students and parents alike: students are adjusting to life away from home, while parents struggle to maintain adequate communication with their child. Books written about this process of separation were particularly helpful to our family, and we have referred many times to the material covered in the two-day orientation. For us, it became clear that inquiring about specific subjects of interest was more helpful than more open-ended questions. It was easier to ask about the cost of washer and dryer use, for example, than to ask how things were going in the dorm. We also felt that in order to encourage communication, our phone calls should be supportive and encouraging rather than frantic or pressured.
Parents have made a great investment in The University of Iowa, and, in turn, the Parents Association works toward a goal of making sure each student has a rewarding and successful college career at Iowa. In addition to cosponsoring campus activities like Welcome Week, the Parents Association Advisory Board recommends funding from the Parent Fund for Student Support at the UI Foundation to support a number of important initiatives: enhancing the strategically placed Blue Code emergency phones across campus; furnishing the Admission Visitors Center in the Pomerantz Center; and WhistleSAFE, which provides whistles to students as well as educational programming. The Parents Association also is a partner in supporting an alcohol education program required of all first-year students.
Please do not hesitate to contact any member of the Parents Association Advisory Board or the on-campus liaison Belinda Marner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 319-335-3557. Visit the Parents Association online at www.uiowa.edu/~parent.
Best regards to each of you.