One of my favorite events every year is the dinner I host for our students and their parents during Parent & Family weekend. From a handful of families a few years ago this event has grown by leaps and bounds with over 600 guests registered this year due to the tremendous outreach of Casey Gonzales, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the Parent and Family Center.
Weekends such as this enable parents to learn more about the University that their child is attending and hopefully feel more comfortable about their new Maverick’s “home away from home.” It was wonderful meeting with families from San Antonio, Houston and other parts of Texas in addition to those from right here in the DFW/North Texas area. Some of these were alums returning with great pride to see their sons and daughters get educations at their alma mater and others were returning parents already having had other children either graduate from or still attending UTA.
Their pride in their children was evident as was their desire to ensure that the next generation has opportunities not available to them. We have a big responsibility to these parents and to the community and each of us needs to continuously keep this in mind – it’s not just providing the very best educational experience, but it’s also ensuring that we prepare these students for success throughout their lives.
Each student represents a family and is part of a community. Their success not only allows them to move further in life but it advances the family and community. Our impact thus is multiplicative and in line with our goals of global impact through a transformative educational experience. They cited the drivers of their satisfaction as being our rigor in the classroom and the rankings of our programs, the diversity and inclusiveness of our campus, the ability to engage in meaningful co- and extra-curricular activities, and the tremendous support provided by our dedicated staff. All of them were proud of our institution, thankful for our wonderful faculty and staff dedicated to ensuring the success of their daughter or son, and eager to hear of the latest accomplishments of UTA. These are some of our strongest supporters and advocates and many told me that they have been telling friends and neighbors of the excellence that UTA represents and why their children should also attend. I’m already looking forward to next year’s event which I know will be bigger – in a few years we will outgrow the Bluebonnet Ballroom.