Bringing and leaving a child at a residential college must be a difficult task. And I don’t mean merely the labor of hauling refrigerators, TVs, bikes, sound systems, and clothes in the usually blazing August heat here in Arkansas.
Even though I have no children of my own, I have seen this “delivery” now for almost four full decades, and I believe I can vicariously experience the depth of emotions you will feel as you drive away one child light. These emotions will be especially intense if you are bringing and leaving your first child to go off to college, your last child to leave home, or especially your only child.
We thank you for trusting Lyon to educate your son or daughter and to help shape him or her into the mature, responsible, educated young person Lyon prides itself in graduating. With your child’s hard work and commitment, and your support, Lyon will not fail to send out into the world in four years a young adult of whom we will all be most proud. That support from you—especially in the next weeks of transition—is, however, essential.
In addition to the normal demands of moving away from home for the first time, first-year students are going to encounter greater academic rigor and higher expectations at Lyon than they were used to in high school. Life for them will initially be exciting, but also tough: almost all first-year students will earn grades lower than they are accustomed to earning in high school.
In our experience at Lyon, however, those first-year students who avail themselves of the help and support we provide quickly recover and go on to successful college careers here. Please don’t fuss at them for a C—or even a D or F—on an early quiz. Encourage them as strongly as you can to get help with their academic work at the very first sign that they might need it.
I look forward to meeting you and working with your sons or daughters over the next four years.
Please do your best to come to Lyon for Family Weekend in September. It’s an excellent time to check on your student’s transition to college life and to meet and talk with his or her instructors.
In the meantime, if I can assist you in helping your child adjust to and go on to shine at Lyon, don’t hesitate to call me.
And please remember to help without hovering so your child makes the successful transition to adulthood.
Virginia F. Wray
Dean of the Faculty