Orientation for New Students, Parents Draws Wide Audience



Chancellor Allen C. Meadors (left) with Steve and Gwenne Causey

They traveled from far and wide -Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey - and all corners of North Carolina.

High school seniors and their parents flocked to The University of North Carolina at Pembroke on Tuesday, July 16 for Parent Orientation and Freshman Testing.

While their children were tested in math, English and speech proficiency, 270 parents assembled at the Givens Performing Arts Center for a morning-long question and information session.

And they were not disappointed.

"I was amazed," said Bruce VanDerEng, a parent from Fayetteville. "I've only talked to two people so far, and they were so helpful…just ideal."

Questions and answers covered a wide range of topics: safety, parking permits, campus health insurance, student employment, the local community, choosing a major, financial aid and student identification cards.

Representatives from each department were present to address specific questions in front of the audience and to make sure no question went unanswered. Senior administrators assured parents that their families had made a wise decision by choosing UNCP, and expressed a commitment to ease the transition to college for incoming freshmen.


Mrs. Meadors (center) speaks with Jim Meisenheimer and Dr. Lisa Schaeffer.

"Our goal is not to see how many we can get rid of in their first year, but to see how many we can keep," Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Roger Brown said to the crowd.

Some parents were concerned about the Family Educational Right to Privacy Act (FERPA), which prohibits parents from obtaining their children's report cards and other confidential information when the child is 18. UNCP staff explained that a waiver could be signed by the student to allow access to their records.

"We got a lot of surprises today," said Tina Nejberger from Fuquay-Varina. Her son, Lee, will be on the golf team and the Honor's College.

Chancellor Allen C. Meadors urged anyone in need of campus housing to apply immediately.

"We're filling up fast, and we'd hate for someone not to come because they couldn't find a place to live," he said.


Chancellor Meadors (left) speaks with parents and students at Givens Performing Arts Center.

For most of the parents in attendance, it was their first experience with having a child go to college. They felt secure knowing the school was small enough to offer individual attention and that professors would notice if a certain student was not in class.

"We really like it," said Sola and Jide Onikoyi, from Greensboro. Sola said her daughter, Faidat, will attend UNCP in the fall to study accounting. "It's a small school and she needs that being away from home," Sola said.

At an afternoon reception hosted by Chancellor Meadors and his wife Barbara in their garden, parents mingled with senior UNCP administrators and had another chance to ask questions.

"People just walked up saying 'welcome', and 'we're glad you came to Pembroke,'" said Jim Misenheimer, whose son Ben will attend in the fall as a Teaching Fellow.

"The Teaching Fellow people, they really rolled out the red carpet for him," he said about his son's earlier visit to the campus.

"And that information session this morning, that was a class act."

Additional parent orientation sessions will be held on July 30 and August 15 from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Classes begin August 19.