Wofford Parents

Family Weekend

Written By: Ashley Rowe - Oct•01•12

I hope you have all received your flyers and e-mails about Family Weekend October 5, 6 & 7, and that you have made your plans to attend.  For those of us who live outside the Carolinas this is a really big deal.  We don’t get many trips to Wofford and this is the perfect weekend to see our sons and daughters – and probably our first time seeing them since they left in August. (Oh my, how have we survived???)

There are lots of planned activities for this weekend.  You will have the opportunity to meet your student’s professors, roommates, friends and other parents.  The bookstore is open all weekend and you MUST embarrass your child by wearing a “Wofford Mom or Dad” t-shirt.  There are wonderful art exhibits in the Sandor Teszler Library Gallery and the Martha Cloud Chapman Gallery.  You might even have time to take a drive out to Glendale and see the Goodall Environmental Studies Center.  Among my favorite activities:  “Putting on The Dog” Friday night at 9pm in the Village.  This year it’s “The Ultimates” a motown band, and of course I wouldn’t miss the tailgating and the Wofford vs Furman football game on Saturday. Tailgating at Wofford is brought to a whole new level. These kids know how to entertain!!  The Women’s Soccer Team will be busy with a home game Friday night at 6 pm against Elon and a game Sunday afternoon at 2 pm against UNCG.

This is such a fun weekend I hope to see you all there!!!  Attached are some pictures from last year.

For more information about Family Weekend, you can visit Wofford’s website.

“This too shall pass.”

Written By: Ashley Rowe - Sep•26•12

Oh no, that 1 am phone call no parent ever wants to get; “Hello Mrs. Schwartz, this is *On Star calling, your daughter has been in an accident.”

We were supposed to be leaving that morning at 6 am for our 12-hour drive back to Wofford from Miami.  This would be the fourth and final time I would bring her to Wofford – her Senior Year.

That morning, 6 am came and went and we were still in the Emergency Room.  After all the tests and x-rays and CT scans the only lingering injury was a broken ankle – crushed actually.  She hit a tree on the wet streets following Tropical Storm Isaac – the tree won, her car was totaled.  Speed and her cell phone were a factor as well.  She was lucky to “walk” away at all.

A few days late, we eventually made that 12-hour drive to Wofford.  The excited anticipation of seeing friends and telling stories of summer was marred by a veil of Percocet.  There was no running from room to room to compare floor plans and colors in the Village (the housing she had waited 4 years for).  When the last box was emptied and the last dress hung in the closet it was time to leave my vulnerable Senior to hobble around on crutches and fend for herself.  It was like she was taking her first steps all over again.  Kristyn learned to walk at 13 months, on Superbowl Sunday.  She had been trying to walk all morning.  She would stand and fall, over and over again.  But just as the Washington Redskins scored their first touchdown Kristyn walked across the living room floor all the way to Daddy.  Now, some 21 years later she was learning to walk again, literally, with crutches and a temporary disability and figuratively with a new independence and resolve.

The drive back to Miami doesn’t get any easier.   I was still leaving “my baby” teetering on the brink of adulthood (actually hobbling on the brink).  My 90-year-old mother still offering her sage wisdom that “this too shall pass,” and then felt the need to remind me of all the foolish and dangerous things I had done in my teens and 20’s.

The point of this story is that we are always “letting go” in some new phase of life.  We hope and pray that we have given them the knowledge, confidence and skills to go out into this uncertain world and cope with whatever comes their way. With each passing year their world gets bigger and bigger.  We will continue to hope, pray and worry, and silently rejoice when we get that “good night” text or joyful phone call for a 98% on the first German test.  Fortunately for all of us, the world at Wofford is still small enough and human enough to care about our daughters and sons.  Kristyn has been lucky to have Nurse Tammy looking in on her, campus safety taking her to class in their golf cart and wonderful friends and roommates doing laundry and bringing food.  Is it Wofford?  Is it the South?  Or, is it both?  Whatever IT is, we love it.  There is something uniquely warm and caring about Wofford.  Kristyn has gotten quite good at hobbling and now I know that “this too shall pass.”

With that, a belated, warm welcome back to all the parents of Wofford students and a huge welcome to Freshman parents.  I hope everyone else has gotten off to a smooth start for this academic year and that I will see you shortly at Family Weekend.  For most of us, Family Weekend, October 5, 6 & 7, will be the first chance we have had to see our little darlings since they left for school and it is a weekend not to be missed.

– Nancy Schwartz

Moving up and moving out!

Written By: Ashley Rowe - May•02•12

What goes in, must come out.  I think I said that back in August when we were thinking about moving into the dorm.  Remember back to that warm August day when everyone was excited, happy and cheerful.  Strong boys and smiling girls were unloading cars and move-in day was a piece of cake.  Well, moving out is not quite that easy.  Over the course of this year your student has probably acquired many more items than the car load they brought in August.  If your student is anything like my daughter…a clothes horse, pack rat, hoarder…you see where I’m going with this.

After Freshman year we moved EVERYTHING back to Miami in May and then EVERTHING back to Wofford in August.  It took a year to wise up.  Now we get a storage unit in Spartanburg.  For under $300, you can obtain storage facilities for the summer.  It’s much easier to start moving out a little at a time and taking home only what is needed for the summer.

If you live nearby it probably isn’t an issue, but for those of us out of state, moving becomes a logistical nightmare.  You can also remind your student during this “move out” process that they really didn’t need to bring everything they owned to the dorm. If you do decide to store items in Spartanburg put a few Bounce fabric softeners in with your clothes.  They help repel bugs.

Final Exams are also right around the corner.  This is a stressful time for our kids as they begin to wind down their year, but gear up for finals.

Have they discovered that they can stake out a study room in Milliken? This is the hot spot for studying for finals.  It’s open 24/7 and the kids rotate “possession” of these rooms.  This is the perfect time for a little care package from home.  Maybe Terrier Cakes, a Starbucks gift card and don’t forget the Febreeze for those rooms in Milliken.  The library has extended hours for studying as well.  If they haven’t become familiar with “Cook Out” by now, they will during finals.  Our kids tend to think they can perform well under pressure and without sleep.  Hopefully by now they have learned that cramming the night before and staying up all night does not produce the best grade.

As we are all wishing our students the best of luck on their finals, I will wish my fellow parents good luck on the moving-out process! If you attend Spring Family Weekend at Wofford this weekend, make sure to get a head start on moving out and take a few things home with you!


Earth Day 2012

Written By: Ashley Rowe - Apr•20•12

On Sunday, April 22, 2012 we will celebrate the 42nd annual Earth Day.
Earth Day was originally pioneered back in 1969 at a conference in San
Francisco.  It developed into the first nationwide Earth Day on April
22, 1970.  I was there at San Francisco State University for that
first Earth Day.  More than 20 million people at 2,000 colleges and
universities participated throughout the United States.  The 1960s had
become a very dynamic period for ecology in the US.  It was the height
of the hippie and flower-child culture.  The 1970’s brought the death of Jimi
Hendrix, the last Beatles album, and Simon and Garfunkel”s “Bridge Over
Troubled Water”.  Protest was the order of the day, but saving the
planet was not the case.  War raged in Vietnam and students opposed it.
Americans were burning through leaded gas and our planet’s resources
without regard for tomorrow.  This was the perfect time to harness the
passion of the youth of the 70’s and turn attention to saving our

As we celebrate 42 years later, on Sunday, April 22, 2012 more than 500
million people will participate in 175 countries.  I think back to the
passion of the 70s and wonder what happened?  How have we fallen so far
behind in renewable energy?  Thirty years ago there were solar panels on
the White House.  Where are they now?

How has Wofford helped our planet?  Let me count the ways. Wofford offers
a major in Environmental Studies.  Many of the classes and labs for
this major take place off campus at the Goodall Enviromental Studies
Center at Glendale, which is an LEED certified facility.  Spring is a
beautiful time out there and definitely worth a visit if you are on
campus.  I am proud to say that my daughter, Kristyn, is an
Environmental Studies major and loves Glendale.  Burwell is making
regular green changes.  Styrofoam is being eliminated as recyclable and
biodegradable plates, cups and silverware become available. They offer
fair trade products as well as locally produced food.  Gold, Black and
Green is an intellectual, operational and cultural movement for
environmental sustainability and carbon neutrality.  It’s all about
reduce, reuse, recycle and making it second nature to everyone.  It
takes time and money to become eco friendly in a community the size of
Wofford but I am excited to see the changes that have been made and the
commitment to the future.  The Wofford website has been offering
environmental tips and there is a link for ideas for going green in the
dorm rooms.
  Let’s make Earth Day more than just one day.  REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE.

What is YOUR carbon footprint?


Wofford Website

Written By: Ashley Rowe - Apr•09•12

If you are reading this blog you have obviously figured out how to navigate the Wofford website.  It is a wealth of information about the college, it’s faculty, and the students.  I love visiting the website.

You never know what pictures will pop up.  You may even see your child!!!  Sometimes I will see my daughter, Kristyn, in a picture that she didn’t even know about.  Of course, she will then accuse me of “stalking the website” again.  You can go to the Wofford home page at www.wofford.edu, click on the About tab at the top of the page and select “This Week at Wofford” in the drop down menu. This will take you to the weekly photos taken around campus.  You can look at photos from this week, or go back and see pictures from throughout the year.  Watch the seasons change, and get a sense of the calm and beauty of Wofford’s physical plant.  When you realize you have spent an hour and a half looking at pictures, then you can quickly go back to the home page and search for the info that brought you to the website in the first place.  It’s so easy to get distracted because one link will peak your interest to another link, and so on.

You can view the latest athletic scores, schedule of games, or check out course requirements for your child’s major.  Just about anything you want to know about Wofford can be found on the website, but if you still need more info just call the department in question.  I have found the faculty and staff to be most helpful and receptive to questions and concerns whether they come from the parents or students.

In addition to the main Wofford website, the Alumni Office has created a page specifically for current parents. This page includes an event calendar that lists important dates and events for you and your student. There is a Resources page, that includes links to information about financial aid, international studies, and everything in between. Click on the News link to read Wofford news stories current parents would find most interesting. The For Your Students page is where you can go to order Terrier Cakes for your student. This page also has information about Hub City Delivery, a great new service offered to the campus area. Students can order food and have it delivered from some of their restaurants that don’t normally deliver! The new parents page has more to offer than I can list in one post. The best thing to do is go to the new For Parents web page by clicking here and see for yourself! You can also “like” Wofford College Parents on Facebook, or “follow” WoffordParents on Twitter to connect with other parents and keep up with important news and events just for parents.


Spring Break

Written By: Ashley Rowe - Mar•27•12

Spring Break

Does “Spring Break” conjure up visions of “Gidget Goes Hawaiian” or “Girls Gone Wild”?  Whatever your vision or memory – this may be the first Spring Break for many of you.  Our kids have worked long and hard this year and are looking forward to some fun in the sun!!!!!  If you are lucky enough to have your kids come home, then I am happy for you.  Some TLC and mom’s pancakes will be a great time for all.  But if your kids are going to parts unknown, the beach, Cancun or somewhere in a large group I am sure you are worried.

We have confidence in our own kids, but we still worry about peer pressure and the possibility others around preying on college students.  It doesn’t matter if you have a son or a daughter – you are going to worry.  We want to “let go” and trust that they will make good choices.  They have managed to make it almost to the end of the school year.  So far so good.  Now, to get through Spring Break.  If they are going to another student’s house at the beach or out of town there is nothing wrong with contacting their parents. Don’t let them convince you that “they are too old for that.”  Exchange a phone call, emails, something to make contact.  And speaking of contact… we rely on our child’s cell phone almost entirely when they are away.  Cell phone batteries die, and go into areas where there is no service.  Make sure you have the cell number of a few of the friends they are going to be with.  If you can’t reach your own child maybe you can reach their friend and vice versa.  Exactly where are they staying?  What hotel, what room number?  “A house on the beach” is not good enough.  What is the address?  Is there a land line there, and if so, what is the number?  Also, make sure they have their medical insurance card with them. Accidents do happen.

These are little things that are so easily forgotten when students are going on Spring Break.  For interim they were given a checklist and were much more organized.  For spring break they think they can get by with a swim suit, a pair of shorts, and a t-shirt.  A bad sunburn the first day can ruin their entire vacation. Drinking – yes, they are underage but don’t be naive – they will drink.  Talk to them about the reality of making sure they have a designated driver and someone to watch their back. You may not condone what they are doing, but be aware.

We prepare them the best we can and then send them out to find their path.  Hopefully they will have safe fun along that route and bring back great pictures and memories from Spring Break 2012!!!!!!

If you’re looking for more advice about Spring Break, here is a link to an article called “A Parents Guide to Spring Break” that has some great suggestions about how to talk to your students and what you should talk to them about. Read “A Parents Guide to Spring Break” here.

Inaugural Spring Family Weekend

Written By: Ashley Rowe - Mar•21•12

Yay, something new this year!  Fall Family Weekend has been a tradition of Wofford’s for many years.  If you came last year you know how much fun it was to see your student, their roommates, attend the many activities and just have a great time in Spartanburg.  Well, Spring Family Weekend is coming up on May 4 and 5.  Many of us have not seen our kids since Christmas break.  Also, many of our kids choose not to come home for Spring Break so we are really missing them.  This is the perfect opportunity to get a little face time with our kids and fill our needs too.  You already received the email telling you about the activities, but here they are again.  More details will be available soon.

Events during the weekend:

Annual Spring Concert with Campus Musical Groups
Parent Sessions on preparing for Grad School
Parent Sessions on preparing for a career after Wofford
Optional lunch in Phase V and the opportunity to talk with key faculty and staff about your student’s upcoming year
Packing the Dorm Room
Fun Funds Concert

Spartanburg is also hosting the Spring Fling downtown.

I’m really looking forward to Spring Family Weekend and hope that all of you are as well!


Parent’s Advisory Council

Written By: Ashley Rowe - Mar•09•12

The Parent’s Advisory Council (PAC) met for  their winter meeting on Saturday, February 25.  It was well attended by many new parents from all around the country.  And, we said good bye to 44 parents of graduating Seniors (24 families).  I mentioned before what a wonderful opportunity it is to serve on the PAC.  We get a first-hand look at our wonderful Wofford with regards to the latest changes, projects soon to be underway and plans on the “drawing board.”  It’s always inspiring to hear Bernie Dunlap and Dean Bigger talk about the students, classes and recognition of Wofford in the community, as well as around the country and world at large.

This has been a great year for Wofford in terms of fund raising, but as always, the need is great.  I hope you all saw the article in the Princeton Review that placed Wofford on the highly regarded best value list.  If you have not contributed to the annual fund as of yet, please consider it.  I know we all take a deep breath when we write those tuition checks, but consider the opportunity provided to our children.  No donation is too small.

We also had the opportunity to have lunch in the “infamous” Burwell!!!!  Our kids might complain about the food, but Dan & I thought our lunch was fabulous.  There were made to order omelets, salad bar, sandwich station, pizza and a variety of hot items.  Aramark, the college Food Services company, is open to comments and suggestions so if your child has thoughts or complaints about the food, please encourage them to be specific and bring their concerns to the attention of Aramark but leave comments in stations available at each food operation on campus.  If there is a specific diet need that is not being met, they need to speak up.

At the PAC meetings, we break into three committees for focused discussions on Student Life, Parent Relations and Student Recruitment and Retention, for afternoon discussions.  Dan and I serve on the Recruitment and Retention Committee.  We spent a long time talking about the value of a Wofford education and how we can expand that value beyond the Carolinas.  As parents, we are one of the best advocates for Wofford. Those of us outside the Carolinas need to take a more active role with the local high schools and alumni that may be in our area to promote Wofford and see that more applications come from our areas, which in turn means a higher visibility throughout the nation, as well as the world with the incredible abroad programs.  The Student Life Committee focused on day to day activities around campus that make life great for our students.  The late night breakfast in Phase V has become very popular.  The Parent Relations Committee discussed a number of topics, specifically a new Parents website, that I will discuss in detail in the next blog, and a new Spring Family Weekend that you will be hearing more about in the near future.

Our meeting day ended with a tour of the spectacular new Montgomery Music building.  It was a treat to see the hub of activity there with students playing their guitars in the practice rooms and groups huddled around the piano singing.  All these students are majoring in something other than music, as there is no music major at Wofford.  Music is simply their passion, and now they have a haven to retreat from the rigors of studying.

Following the meeting, we had the opportunity to attend the packed house and watch Wofford beat Furman handily in basketball 67 – 52.  The win earned Wofford a bye in the upcoming Southern Conference Tournament.  Unfortunately, the Terriers fell short in their quest to win a third straight Southern Conference Championship when they lost to Western Carolina in the conference tournament the following week.

Once again, it is always a pleasure to attend the PAC meetings and have an excuse to be on campus.


Terrier Cakes

Written By: Ashley Rowe - Feb•08•12

Are you missing your Wofford student? Want a great way to start out their semester? Send them some Terrier Cakes! Today is the last day to send cupcakes to your student for Valentine’s Day, but if you miss the cut off for Valentine’s day, there are plenty of special days in their lives coming up. Is it their birthday? Did they complete a huge paper? Do well on a test? Have a cold? Just because you miss them?

It couldn’t be easier. You can just go to www.wofford.edu/alumni/youngalumni/TerrierCakes and place an order, it’s as simple as that! You can choose to send 6 large cupcakes or 12 mini cupcakes, and there are 5 different flavors to choose from, all equally delicious! Terrier Cakes are a sweet treat that will surely let your student know you are thinking of them.

Happy New Year!

Written By: Ashley Rowe - Jan•23•12

Happy 2012 to everyone!  Things have finally settled down a little from the craziness of Homecoming, the end of the semester, and of course, the holidays. For those of you who have only one child you are probably wondering how he or she can be halfway through their freshman year of college.  Where did the time go?  If you have more children you already realize that time waits for no one and the years keep flying by.

Wasn’t it wonderful to have our children home for the Christmas break?  I am sure you saw a much more independent person.  Whether they slept in and begged for mom’s French toast in bed or got up early and made the first pot of coffee – it was clear that your “child” had grown and matured during that first semester at Wofford.

And now, the rest of their year begins with Interim.  Whether they decided to go abroad to Australia or stay on campus and take knitting, interim is a unique and important part of life at Wofford.  I am sure this last semester was a rude awakening for many students and parents.  No matter how prepared our children were for college, the academic standard at Wofford is incredibly rigorous.  Our kids have certainly learned to play hard, but wow, they have also learned to study hard.  Interim provides the perfect opportunity to explore hidden talents and interests outside of the regular curriculum.  They are learning in a non-traditional setting and touching on subjects they may never have the opportunity to explore.  Interim is becoming increasingly popular on college campuses.  At Wofford, however, this unique learning experience has been around since the sixties.  Talk about forward-thinking! Whatever your child selected this time around, they have 3 more opportunities to think outside the box and spread their wings.

When I first stepped on the Wofford campus a few years ago, I felt like I had stepped onto the set of “Stepford,” (remember, I’m not a Southerner.) I thought this was too good to be true. Cue the sunlight reflecting off of Old Main, cue the professor with suede elbow patches and a “Good Morning”, and cue the laughing students as they walk by.  Well, I quickly discovered it was not too good to be true.  This really is Wofford.  The standards and integrity of days gone by still exist in this gem in the Carolinas.  I hope you and your student have fallen in love with Wofford the way my daughter and Dan and I have.

Happy New Year.

Check out how some of the students at Wofford are spending their Interim!


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