When Kate Nicholson '06 left for college, it marked a beginning for parents Lori and Peter.
For three of their daughter's four years at Union, the Westchester, N.Y., couple was deeply involved in campus life, everything from organizing a get-together for new students and families to hosting a reception for President Stephen C. Ainlay.
From 2003-06, the Nicholsons co-chaired the Parents Association, a vital link in keeping families informed about campus life. Every Union parent and guardian is automatically a part of the group.
"The best part of our involvement was that it allowed us to be more in tune with Kate's college experience," said Lori Nicholson, a senior VP and managing director of marketing at communications giant Young and Rubicam in New York. "We also got to know how other students were feeling and adjusting to college life."
Lori and Peter, director of communications at Rolex Watch USA in New York, dove right into their new roles, organizing and hosting events.
During the "freshman sendoff," they welcomed 70 accepted students and their families into their Briarcliff Manor home in August 2004 and again the following summer. Each fall, they hosted an annual parents' gathering during Homecoming and Family Weekend. "The meeting is a unique opportunity for Union parents to speak candidly with the administration," said Lori. "There aren't many places where this could happen."
The Nicholsons were always a phone call or e-mail away for any parents with questions or concerns. They also stayed in touch with a monthly e-mail newsletter and regular column for Union College magazine.
"Lori and Peter were great parent partners," said Lis Bischoff-Ormsbee, director of the Parents Program. "They've been strong advocates for the Union experience, and they communicated with individual parents in many different ways. They also shared parent feedback with Union's administration. In many ways, they have pushed us to continue to grow and improve where we can."
Bischoff-Ormsbee said that as part of the Union family, parents can help enrich their children's experiences by supporting the College, attending events and staying up-to-date on College news. The Parents Association helps promote all of this while also strengthening the financial foundation of the College. Last year, current parents and parents of alumni gave $538,320 to the Parents Fund.
With daughter Kate now an official Union alumna (she's an advertising assistant at Women's Wear Daily), the Nicholsons have stepped down as Parents Association co-chairs. But they encourage other parents to become active in the organization.
Said Lori: "It is certainly an exciting time to be a Union College parent."Read More