Date: July 29, 2013
To: Parents of New University Students
From: Teresa A. Sullivan, President
Re: Welcome to New UVa Parents
Dear Parents of New Students:
As you prepare to bring your son or daughter to Charlottesville for the beginning of the fall semester, I write to welcome you to the University family.
Your student is joining a community that holds a unique place among American universities. From their first day on the Grounds, students enter a community of trust in which opportunity and responsibility go hand-in-hand, as they participate in longstanding systems of self-governance and honor. We expect students to treat one another with respect while seeking to understand and appreciate their classmates who come from different backgrounds. We encourage collaboration as students enjoy close interaction with faculty members. UVa combines the best aspects of liberal arts education with the vast resources of a major research university, and this distinctive combination creates wonderful opportunities for students to work closely with professors while pursuing research.
Your son or daughter will face challenges here, both academic and personal. Taking on the pressure of a heavy academic work load while meeting new people and encountering new adult freedoms are serious adjustments for students. The safety and well-being of our students are our foremost concerns. I will talk with you about these and other issues during my welcome address to parents. Because some students move in on Friday and others do so on Saturday, we will have two welcome sessions: the first on Friday, August 23, at 3:00 p.m., and another on Saturday, August 24, at 1:00 p.m., with both sessions in Old Cabell Hall. Please plan to come to the session that works best for your family’s schedule.
As your daughter or son gets started here, I encourage you to become involved in the numerous activities that are available to parents and family members, both on and off Grounds. You will have many opportunities to participate in your local community through UVaClubs and also to be part of our lifelong learning activities. To find out more about staying connected, visit our family Web portal at www.virginia.edu/families. The Handbook for Parents provides valuable details about student self-governance, housing and residence life, technology, and other aspects of student life. The handbook is available online in a searchable format at http://parenthandbook.virginia.edu, and you can download and print a PDF from this site.
We offer an alert service called UVa Alerts that provides text and email messages in the event of an emergency on Grounds; parents can be added to their student’s account and receive the same notifications. See www.virginia.edu/uvaalerts.
The Parents Committee and its Parents Fund support student organizations, safety and health, diversity, and parent resources. Last fall, the Parents Committee awarded more than $700,000 to various student groups and programs. Funding recipients included alcohol abuse prevention programs, club sports and arts groups, and University Career Services. The Parents Committee works particularly hard to ensure student safety. It has supported a Global Positioning System (GPS) for our bus system, among many other safety projects. Information about the Parents Fund and Parents Committee is here: www.uvaparents.virginia.edu. I encourage you to get involved.
One topic of concern deserves attention in this letter. By now, you are likely aware of the recent, inadvertent use of Social Security numbers belonging to UVa students that occurred during the mailing of a brochure containing health insurance information. We have acted as quickly as possible to identify the affected students, notify them, and offer resources for identity protection. We deeply regret what happened, and we are focused on taking the necessary steps to prevent any similar event in the future. I have appointed a task force to review the University’s policies and procedures regarding the protection of personal information and related data. Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Pat Hogan is chairing the task force, which will work quickly to ensure that further safeguards protecting personal information are in place and to make recommendations for necessary improvements.
I send my best wishes as you prepare for the trip to Charlottesville. If you need driving directions, visit www.virginia.edu/webmap/drivingDirections.html. For tips on parking and other useful information about Move-In Day, visit www.virginia.edu/orientation/?page_id=32.
Finally, let me offer some practical advice. Many families pack small items that require assembly, and so I recommend that you bring some simple tools with you, such as a flat-head screwdriver and a Phillips screwdriver. A roll of duct tape can prove useful. And because residence hall rooms are small, using a tape measure might save you some frustration. Please be sure that your student brings details of any medical prescriptions and that you have given your student contact information for doctors and dentists. These simple steps will make Move-In Day less stressful and help your student get off to a good start at UVa.
I look forward to meeting you in a few weeks.
Very truly yours,
Teresa A. Sullivan
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Last Modified: Wednesday, 31-Jul-2013 08:58:24 EDT
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