TU Moms’/Parents’ Group in St. Louis
The mother of a TU sophomore approached me last fall when her daughter was in her first semester at TU. She expressed her idea of putting together a TU Moms’ group in St. Louis as an opportunity to connect with one another as their children are having a shared experience with The University of Tulsa. Not only is it a great way to meet new people who have something in common (TU!), but it’s also a great way for the parents to feel connected to their children while they’re away at school almost 400 miles away. Many parents are heavily involved in their kids’ activities when the kids are at home, so when the kids go away to college, a void exists. These opportunities help to fill some of that void!
This mom’s idea came to fruition this fall and has been very well received so far! There have been three TU Moms’ coffee events (September, October and November) all held in someone’s home so far and there will be monthly gatherings for the foreseeable future. There’ve been 10-15 TU moms at each of these events…what a great way to connect! Even though my position is a regional one based in St. Louis, I had conflicts and couldn’t attend the September/October coffee gatherings. However, not only was I able to attend the one in November, I also had the pleasure of taking a guest from TU, Mr. Earl Johnson-VP for Enrollment and Student Services.
There were ten TU moms who attended the November coffee gathering. We wanted to take advantage of Earl’s presence, so we had a more formal discussion with time for the moms to provide feedback to Earl regarding their TU experiences so far. Not only was it a really fun gathering, it was a productive one, too! This photo is of Earl with the last three moms there…3 ½ hours after the event began! It was a great time!
Because many moms work and often aren’t able to attend the morning coffee events, and in an effort to include the TU dads into the fold, it was suggested to have an evening event, too. So, the first TU Moms’ and Dads’ evening event in St. Louis was held on November 15th. Twenty-eight parents gathered for the first of what will continue to be monthly evening events for this group. Here are a few photos from this well-received happy hour.
The benefits of these events move far beyond mere camaraderie: Parents are helping their students with carpooling plans for the holidays, parents are learning things about the city of Tulsa from one another, parents are helping one another learn the ins and outs of TU housing, meal plans, study abroad, Greek life, etc. While there are resources for all of these things on campus, often a great way for parents to learn is from other parents who are experiencing (or who have experienced) the same thing with their kids.
What a great idea from the mom of a TU student who not only came up with the idea, but is running with it as well. We sure appreciate her as well as all of the other TU parents. What a great group!