Advice to Centre Parents

Centre College

Centre College

Centre College

Centre College

Centre College

Advice to incoming parents from parents who have been there


This advice comes directly from current and former Centre parents.


Realize that your job as a parent now is to be encouraging and supportive, but to let them DO for themselves from here on out.


Know that Centre provides excellent support to our students and become familiar with the College’s resources – like the office of advising, the Writing Center – and encourage them to TALK to the professors often and early.


Remind them of President Roush’s charge: Do your best. Be your best. No regrets.


You can overpack for move-in day. Not a bad idea to pack and move clothes, etc., but the things you buy right before move-in (refrigerators, shelving, storage bins, etc.) can be bought at Wal-Mart (or elsewhere) in Danville, so it might be a good idea to do that right AFTER unloading the car with things you need, so you don’t get things you find you don’t need or have room for.


Students don’t use cars as much as you might think; it might be worth waiting to bring a car to campus to see if it is really necessary.


Might be worth having your student set up a local checking account—maybe even a joint account—to avoid ATM withdrawal fees for out-of-network banks.


Believe the advice to let your student know if you plan to visit. Do not “drop by” unannounced for a “surprise” visit—you might be the one “surprised” to find that your student is too busy to spend any time with you.


Really encourage your student to travel abroad at least once during the four years.


Encourage your student to take advantage of the Career Services Office from the first year on and to do at least one internship.


Parent orientation was informative and comprehensive. It is very important to take the time to attend. Because our student visited twice (one time she spent the night with a student) we all felt we knew about Centre and there were no surprises.

—William and Carolyn Sheron

Offer lots of love and support, a small amount of questions, and advice only when asked (and with the full understanding that your advice may be rejected). Centre is a pretty safe place to make mistakes and learn from them.


Remember, you are a guest in your student's dorm.


Let them struggle with their own problems before intervening. Discuss a budget before they go.

—M/M John H. Clark, III

Listen very, very carefully when you are urged to disinvite your child home for the first 4-6 weeks. My husband and I ignored this advice and our daughter had a much more difficult time adjusting to college/dorm life than other students.

—Brenda Curtz

No child tires of hearing that his parents are proud of him - for whatever reason.

—Marcia Hermann

We found it was cheaper to get a cell phone with long distance in the plan than to get other long distance options. Plus there's the additional benefit of having a phone when driving to and from campus.

—John and Toni Goetzman

The son or daughter that you leave in Danville in September will not be the same person that returns to you in May. The growth curve is about as great as it was between birth and one year - so expect great changes.

—Franklin Foster

Take special care of the siblings left at home. They miss their brother/sister as much as you do, so be kind to them and don't dump the missing child's responsibilities on the one that remains.

—Franklin Foster

Try to treat your student like an adult now - especially when you're on campus! Good luck!

—Mary Beth Brown

Email. Get pre-paid phone cards. Send Walmart gift cards. Get a pharmacy number in town and set up an account.


I think the most important thing is to be patient and let them know you are always there for them no matter what. I also think it is good to send things like food and snail mail so that your child has something in their mailbox occasionally.

—Jeff and Cherry Calender

I have to honestly commend Centre. Our son is our first to go to college, and I honestly can say we were well prepared by the school to handle this! Our son fell into college life easily, and we are certain it is because this school knows how to get a family ready to go to college. Our son is so happy at Centre...it was absolutely the best choice. The school cares about their students, it is small enough,and they have the time to care!

—Robert and Kathleen Dunworth

Family Weekend was wonderful. We were most impressed on August 28th when we 'gave our son' to this school. The people waiting to help us move in and get settled - it was fantastic! As a mother, I can tell you when your child leaves home for the first time and adjusts this easily and is as happy as he is, the school has it together and is doing it right. I'm letting everyone in Tennessee know about Centre!

—Robert and Kathleen Dunworth

Expect lots of phone calls. Anticipate 'ups' and 'downs.' Be prepared to hear "the classes are too hard!" Then, after about six weeks, relax. They do settle in. In terms of the dorm room, the closets are roomier than the dressers so bring lots of hangers. Also, a sturdy stand or table to use for computer equipment that won't fit on the desk is a must.

—Jennie Ivey

Be considerate with what you bring for the room - remember there is a roommate and they should share the space equally. Less is more! DON'T bring everything in your closet, all your books, CDs, etc. You can always rotate clothes and music through the year. DO bring a few favorite items to make it seem like home - mugs, photos, stuffed animals, etc. DON'T bring too much stuff. There is limited storage/closet space in the dorm rooms.

—John and Toni Goetzman, Mary Beth Brown, David and Nancy James

Let them make their own decisions, decide what they want to bring, arrange the room, etc. Give opinions only when asked! Allow them to be independent from the start, figure out their finances, laundry, etc. I found the fewer suggestions I made, the better.

—Katie Wolnitzek, George Mackenzie

If you can bear to do so, let them call you instead of you calling them. They are very busy, but sometimes too nice to say "I've got to go, I've got _____ to do.

—Franklin Foster

We found we needed to adjust our expectations with regard to communication. What works for us is to have our student call us on Sunday evenings at her convenience. Email works well in-between.

—John and Toni Goetzman

Communicate a lot. Use email, letters. Send hometown news, football scores, other news. Let your kid know what you know about the friends they left. Everyone likes mail.

—George Mackenzie

Email your child frequently. It's the most effective way to communicate.

—Donna Leach