Frequently Asked Questions | Parental Issues

Q. What if I have a question or my student has a problem, but I don't know who to call?
A. The Director of Donor Relations and Parent Programs, Mona Wyatt, is available as a resource to parents who need help getting answers to questions. For assistance, please call Mona Wyatt, (859) 238-5345. Her office is located on the 2nd floor of Old Centre. If she's not in, her assistant, Carol Maddox, can be reached at (859) 238-5208, and she'll be happy to help you, too. Also, note that Mona's cell phone number is included in her office recording if you should need to reach her after hours for more serious matters or emergencies (although in the event of an immediate threat, please call the Department of Public Safety and they will handle any emergency on campus). You should also feel free to call any office on campus for assistance.

Q. What if I have an after-hours emergency? What if I need to get emergency information to my student?
A. You may contact the Department of Public Safety on their 24-hour line at (859) 236-HELP (4357). They will have emergency contact information for staff members on call or can direct you to someone who can help.

Please keep in mind that the College will not release student phone numbers, even to parents. Our campus switchboard will gladly connect you to a student phone, but will NOT release the phone number for safety reasons. Our public safety office will have access to student phone numbers but follows the same policy.

If you need help getting in touch with your student or finding a campus staff member due to a family emergency on the weekends or after hours, please contact our Department of Public Safety at (859) 236-HELP (4357). Our officers are on duty 24-hours a day and are happy to assist you in any way.

Q. What if I hear that there is an emergency on campus – such as a tornado or bad weather?
A. For information about an emergency situation or breaking news on Centre's campus, the main Centre web page, www.centre.edu, will be the official source of all information coming from the College. If you are concerned, this will be your best source. The information will be reposted on the Centre Parent Facebook page if it is possible to do so, but the Centre web page will keep you updated in the event of an emergency on campus. We would also ask that you please NOT tie up College phone lines in the event of an emergency.

Q. Are there any resources available to parents who are sending their first child to college or are experiencing the “Empty Nest Syndrome?”

A. There are quite a few actually. Click here for a Recommended Reading list. In particular, we recommend the books Letting Go, by Karen Coburn and Madge Treeger and Making the Most of College (Harvard Press) by Richard Light. Two books that specifically address the empty nest are: How to Survive and Thrive in an Empty Nest by Jeanette and Robert Lauer and Empty Nest, Full Heart: The Journey from Home to College by Andrea Van Steenhouse. The Centre Bookstore has copies of these and other useful books about parenting a college student and dealing with your empty nest (or you can call Mona).

Q. Is there one place I can go for ALL this information or to find out what's happening at Centre?
A. The Centre parent web page is an excellent source for information. We've tried to make the page user-friendly for parents, so you don't have to guess which office does what. It has nearly everything you'll ever need, so visit often.

You can also follow the various social media at the College by visiting Social Centre.

And remember that there is a Centre Parent Facebook page so be sure to Like us if you are a Facebook user. Mona Wyatt regularly posts news of interest to parents.

Sign up for the Career Services Blog by clicking here, and for additional information you can also visit the Career Services web page.

In addition, you will receive two Parent e-Newsletters from the Office of Parent Programs every year (in the middle of Fall term and in the middle of Spring term), as well as the Centre alumni magazine, the Centrepiece. Parents of first-year students and seniors will also receive targeted emails from us with advice for helping both those groups

Q. I want to send something special on my child's birthday or during final exams—do you have someone who can help me?
A. Centre offers a link on the parent web page that will take you to FromMom.com, or you can call them at 877-MOM 2 YOU (877-666-2968) where you can order any number of care packages with some very tasty and unique options—healthy snacks, fresh-baked cookies, teas, etc. There are many local dessert options, too—click here to see them. Danville's area florists also will deliver flowers or baskets with goodies if you prefer to go that route. There is a list of area florists on the Centre parent web page.

Q. Where can I get the Parents Association's Centre Parent/Grandparent window clings for my car?
A. The Office of Parent Programs has plenty of these available. Just call us at (859) 238-5208 or 5345, and we will be happy to send you a few. The Centre bookstore also has a variety of bumper stickers.

Q. Do any Danville businesses offer discounts to Centre parents?
A. Yes, they do! Each parent should have received a Centre Parent Perks card in the mail which will give you discounts and special deals at all the listed businesses. Listings include hotels, automotive places, restaurants, gift shops, and more. Take advantage of these savings by presenting your Perks card at participating businesses. The list is also available here.

Q. Is there an organization for Centre parents?
A. YES! The Centre Parents Association counts every current parent as a member. Its purpose is to promote the relationship of Centre parents to the College by sponsoring and co-sponsoring campus events such as Family Weekend, the Parent Fund, new parent orientation and welcome, e-newsletters from campus, free breakfast stations for students during finals, Commencement, and Senior Week activities. The Parents Committee is the executive body of the Centre Parents Association. This advisory group makes decisions about the projects supported by the Parent Fund and provides leadership in parent giving, as well as other parent activities. They also host the breakfast stations during final exams and other events for parents and students, such as the fall welcome. This year's officers are:

Chairs - Pete and Ashley Gairing from St. Petersburg, Fl., (Parents of Bronwyn ’14 & Clark ’14, and Jillian ’11)

Chairs-Elect - Mark and Mary Judson from Atlanta, Ga., (Parents of Hadley ’15)

Parent Fund Chairs - Doug and Preston Stough from Louisville, Ky., (Parents of Mary Gordon ’14)

Q. How can I communicate with my student?
A. EMAIL – Each student will have an email account, and we suggest that you have a conversation with them EARLY about the importance of checking their Centre email accounts.

This is the "official" means of communication between the College and the students, and between the professors and their students, so they need to learn to WATCH THEIR STUDENT EMAIL account for important official announcements (including the College's internal weekly Enewsletter, Notesworthy) and communication about their classes. Not seeing their email is NOT an accepted excuse for missing important deadlines or class assignments.

We find that some students, especially first-years, who aren't regular users of email, will miss important information by not checking their College email account.

You can help with this by emailing them frequently – short, encouraging emails, with "newsy" items about your family and home or your community. Don't expect a lot in return – they're busy, but they will appreciate hearing from you! And while they may not always think to ask, they DO want to know what's going on with family members and friends from home.

PHONE – Well, gone are the days when students brought a phone to campus to plug in in the dorm rooms (which we now call residence halls….). The plugs are still there and they still work, so they can bring a landline phone, but as you know, most of them prefer to use their cell phones. Local calls on the landline phones are free, but long distance calls will be billed to them.

The area code for Danville is 859 and the College prefix is 238- plus the 4-digit extension. Nearly all campus numbers have this prefix (with the exception of the public safety HELP line, which is 859-236-HELP, the Norton Center box office, and Cowan Dining Hall). You may always call the CAMPUS SWITCHBOARD during the week, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (859) 238-5200, and Donna Phillips can help you find campus offices and individuals.

IMPORTANCE OF REAL CONVERSATIONS: As you already know, our young adults keep strange hours, so don't expect them to answer every time you ring! What works best for many parents is to set a definite time to call – Sunday afternoons might be best, or late Saturday morning. In this day of texting and instant access, we would still encourage you to have a REAL conversation with them at least once a week. You can tell a lot, as you know them better than anyone, by the tone of their voice, by things they're NOT saying (like not mentioning anything about one tough class), and this should be helpful to both you and your student. Determine this time before your child leaves home and remember that they truly are very busy. We find that parents are often surprised by how busy their students will be.

IMPORTANT: THE COLLEGE DOES NOT RELEASE STUDENT PHONE NUMBERS – not even to parents. This is for the safety of our students, so if you lose your child's number, Donna will gladly connect you to the room, but she will not release the phone number.

If you need emergency help getting in touch with your student or finding a campus staff member on the weekends, please contact our department of public safety at (859) 236-HELP (4357). Our officers are on duty 24-hours a day and are happy to assist you in any way.

VISITS – Shall I drop by for a visit? NO. We certainly don't have a problem with it, but most students will appreciate knowing that you're coming ahead of time. You know your student best, but in general, we recommend that you respect their schedules (and their possibly messy room) and let them know you are on your way. Also, keep your visit short – they are busy. Remember that being the "host" is a new role for them. They may not know what to do with you or how to entertain you! Help them out – take them off campus to a favorite restaurant or shopping. They will enjoy seeing you and being with you, being fed and spoiled a little, showing off the campus and their friends, but then, they will want to get back into their routine.

Q. Are there ways I can be involved with the College as a parent?
A. BE ENGAGED. First, we assume that you'll be supportive of your son or daughter as they encounter the many challenges that college life brings. Listening is often the main thing they want from you. But, you can also show your interest by asking questions about their classwork – beyond "what are you taking?" and "what grades did you make?" (although those are important questions, too!). Express genuine interest in what they're learning – ask why they like a particular class, what's the most interesting part of the course, or what is the biggest challenge from that class. Ask what class is their least favorite and why?

PARTICIPATE – LOYALTY IS OUR TRADITION. As a parent, you can make a statement about loyalty, just as most of our alumni do each year! Centre's alumni have long been known as among the most loyal in the nation, having been number one in participation with annual giving for over 20 years.

And, each year more than half of our parents join in the tradition of loyalty by participating in the Centre Parent Fund, with contributions ranging from $5 to $5,000. By participating, our parents say through their gifts, large and small, that they are confident in and satisfied with their student's education. Centre is deeply grateful for this extra investment and for the level of commitment it demonstrates. The College uses this leverage when securing gifts from foundations and corporations – and as far as we know, we are the only college in the nation that can state that half of our alumni, half of our parents, and half of the graduating class, made gifts to the annual fund. We hope you'll consider being a part of this Centre tradition.

HELP WITH RECRUITING. Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to let people know about Centre, and the good things you say in your community and to your friends are helpful to us. The admission office often hosts recruiting events around the country, and you may want to be involved with this, or possibly with hosting an event in your home. If you would like to know more about being involved with recruiting Centre students, please contact David Dewitt at 1-859-238-5357. The admission office appreciates parents who volunteer to help with recruiting in their area.

CAREER SERVICES – HIRE THEM (or help them). You can hire our graduates or keep an ear out for job openings in your area. You can also provide "shadowing" opportunities or internships for our students, or talk with them about your work.

Centre prides itself on the Centre network – our alumni, parents, and friends -- who are critical in helping our graduates find employment and internships. If your company or organization could benefit from having a bright, eager Centre student either as an intern or as an employee, please contact our Career Services office at (859) 238-5283.

ATTEND CENTRE EVENTS IN YOUR AREA. The Alumni Office hosts Centre events all over the country. If you get an invitation to one in your area, please attend – and take a prospective student and parent along.

PROMOTE CENTRE. If you have contacts with your local media, mention us to them. Tell them if your son or daughter won an award, made the Dean's List, or is in a play or some other activity here, and ask them to run the campus news release that we will probably send them. Tell your friends about us, tell prospective students and their parents about us, tell potential major donors or foundations that you know about us. Tell the story. We know it, but not everyone does.

Q. What and when is Family Weekend?
A. Family Weekend 2013 is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, September 20-21. It is a wonderful opportunity for you to visit your son or daughter and join in various organized campus activities. Bring the whole family – grandparents, siblings, ALL are welcome! Hotel accommodations in Danville are not plentiful, and we encourage you to make your reservations as soon as possible. For more info, click here.

Centre graduation
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Dean Randy Hays
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Fall Festival