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Diverse and growing

The Davis & Elkins family is diverse and growing. Students are at the forefront of our family. Others are very important parts as well. To mention just a few, we have alumni, faculty, staff, trustees, Elkins and Randolph County friends, and business partners.

Parents, another important group, provide us with their most precious resource, namely their sons and daughters. Many parents also provide financial support for their child’s education. How wonderful it is to see parents frequently visiting campus to support their student as they make a presentation, participate in a performance, or join their team on the field or court. They often wear their D&E apparel and become caught up in supporting many aspects of Senator Nation.

In May at the College’s Commencement ceremonies, I said the following to the parents of our graduates: “This diploma represents an accomplishment for you as well. You have sacrificed so that your son or daughter could experience the transformative education D&E offers. In return, you receive an overflowing sense of pride in both the accomplishment and the opportunity for the future embodied in your graduate. All the sacrifice and all the investment are worth it when the young man or young woman, whom you love so much, walks across this stage, beaming with joy and brimming with yet-to-be realized life opportunities. Crystalized in a moment and in a life, more than two decades of work, sacrifice and nurture become the bargain of a lifetime.”

A new opportunity for parents of students to become involved in Davis & Elkins College has recently begun. The “Senator Parent Ambassadors” program holds great promise to further enhance the opportunities available to students, as well as enlarging the recruiting circle for the institution.

Parents, as members of the greater Davis & Elkins College family, can be insightful resources for future students and families, current students and faculty. Examples of possible volunteer opportunities for Senator Parent Ambassadors include: (1) assisting with recruitment of new students; (2) providing internship opportunities for current students; (3) participating in a class as a guest speaker; (4) serving as a mentor for students; and (5) advising new parents.

Eric and Cornelia “Nelia” Gustafson of Mount Vernon, Virginia, are the parents of D&E Sophomore Thomas Gustafson. Eric, an active alumnus of William and Mary, and Nelia, employed at Georgetown University, are overjoyed with their son’s decision to make Davis & Elkins his collegiate home and have been surprised at the connection they have developed with their son’s home away from home. They have stepped forward to assist with the launch of this exciting new initiative.

The Gustafson’s write: “The Senator Parent Ambassador Program takes (our excitement about the College) one step further by allowing each of us to give back and become more involved in the College community.”

Parents desiring additional information about becoming involved in the Senator Parent Ambassador Program may contact either Lisa Senic at senicl@dewv.edu or Cathy Nosel at noselc@dewv.edu. The beneficiaries will be our students.

The journey continues…

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