Parent & Family Newsletter

Michael Circle, Family Services Coordinator, 304/696-6833

Tell us about your summer plans

Hey Parents! Are you happy to have your student home for the summer? Is your student already driving you crazy? Are they living on their own? Tell us how your family is doing now that school is out! We'd love to hear your best stories, plans or vacation ideas and maybe...just maybe, we will feature your story in our next newsletter! Email your story and a family photo (optional but strongly recommended) to for your chance to be featured!
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Orientation is coming! Have you registered?

Tuesday, June 13th, 8am to Friday, June 16th, 4pm

1 John Marshall Drive

Huntington, WV

Orientation is upon us and we've got a lot going on this summer! Orientation is a daylong event where you and your student will
  • Learn about graduation requirements
  • Learn how to navigate through student resources and support services
  • Learn about the many things you’ll encounter during your first year, including academic expectations and student life
  • Meet with an academic advisor to register for your first semester of classes
  • Meet many of your new classmates

Dates are June 13-16, June 20-23 and August 1-4. Orientation is a full-day program, so please choose a date that is free from other obligations. Proof of attendance can be provided if needed.

Ready to register? Complete our online registration form at After completing your online reservation, you will receive a confirmation postcard in the mail with your orientation date. Additional information such as the program schedule, arrival time, where to park and what to bring can be found in our Orientation Guide. Please do not make travel plans until you receive final confirmation of your reserved date.

Student Affairs Showcase

College life is a gear change for anyone but when you are a military veteran coming from a strict, routine-based background or a war-torn land thousands of miles from home, the experience is more than a little daunting.

That is why Marshall University strives to help its veterans build a life after service. Through the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs, Director Jonathan McCormick serves those who served find their passion, navigate the transition into college life and find rest among the hectic chaos of campus.

“We handle the transition for our veterans, we offer services in a veteran-friendly, safe area and provide numerous resources for their success,” McCormick said. “We provide a computer lab with printing, a lounge area with televisions and a place to relax. We also provide counseling through the Veterans Upward Bound program, which helps them apply for benefits and offers tutoring services.”

Counseling provided by Veterans Upward Bound is an invaluable tool, McCormick said. A representative from the nonprofit visits once per week to offer tutoring, help in setting up classes and even offer “spin-up” classes to bring veterans up to speed on what being in the classroom could bring.

A brand new Veterans Lounge offers the students a place to relax in a friendly, like-minded environment. Often times, veterans feel like an isolated group among the student population, McCormick said. Their worldviews do not always match up with those in their classes.

“The biggest resource of having a common area for veterans and dependents to come to is a gathering of like minds,” he said. “Of course, they’ll still have their differences, but knowing there are similar experiences and similar views provides a comfort for them.”

As a Lance Cpl. in the Marine Corps, McCormick is no stranger to converting from military to college life and hopes his experiences in the change can help other veterans.

“It’s tough to go from a sound, structured environment to a place where you make your schedule and your routine can change from day to day,” he said. “There is a completely different mindset and we want them to know we are here to give them a place to be themselves.”

Though adjusting to life on campus is trying, the biggest concern of veterans, McCormick said, is just getting through the door. The Office of Military and Veterans Affairs works closely with VA Certification Specialist Lora Varney, who helps to process VA benefits.

“[Varney] works in the Registrar’s Office to make sure our veterans get paid,” he said. “Their biggest concern is how they’re school will be paid for and how they will live.”

McCormick began his role as Director of Military and Veterans Affairs in April and has big plans for the office and student participation. With nearly 500 students receiving VA benefits at Marshall University, he looks to bring awareness of the resources offered to veterans. Events like Military Week and a Meet the Vets community engagement panel are in the works for the coming year, as is a visit from the Travelling Military Museum.

There are several ways veterans and dependents can receive financial and social aid when coming to Marshall University. The Wellman Family Foundation Scholarship is awarded to veterans and helps to bridge the gap between starting college and receiving VA benefits.

“We want you to seek out help, seek out us,” McCormick said. “We are here to make things easier for you and give you the help you need to succeed.”

For more information on the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs, please contact Jonathan McComick at or call 304/696-5278.

Featured Family: The Khaders

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Going to college in the same city you were born and raised in is not always an appealing consideration but for Malak Khader, Marshall was the best and only choice. Her father, Dr. Majed Khader, has worked at Marshall University since 1989 as a professor of Islamic Studies and Director of Morrow Library. Malak grew up on Marshall’s campus, getting to know the faculty and staff, and learning what makes this Thundering Community distinctive. She was a proud alumna of Marshall before she set foot in the classroom as a student.

Since her first year in 2010, Malak has earned a B.A. in Public Relations and completed her M.A. in Public Administration. Though the next step, earning her PhD, will take her far away from Marshall University and her Herd-loving family, Malak is proud to be a Daughter of Marshall.

“My dad would always bring me to Marshall,” she said. “I have really fond memories of coming here all my life. I used to play at the bell outside of Morrow [Library]. There is just a deep, emotional connection to this beautiful campus.”

These days, Malak said she has loved coming to school with her father, but her Marshall career did not start with the same familial excitement. In the fall of 2010, Majed spent time taking Malak to all of her classrooms to ensure she would not get lost. Embarrassing as it may have been, she grew to love knowing her father was always so close.

“He didn’t want me to get lost and it was so embarrassing,” she said. “Now, I see how comforting it was to know he was always there when I needed him.”

During her time on campus, Malak worked in Special Collections, an office of Morrow Library, and as a graduate assistant in Drinko Library. Going to school with her father became working with her father and attending meetings with Majed added a new title to their relationship: colleagues.

“My dad has always been a dad but I came here and he became more like a friend,” Malak said. “A part of that is me maturing and getting closer to my parents, but a great part is the experiences we have shared here.”

Majed Khader has blazed a trail for his family and other Arab and Muslim students at Marshall University. Malak said she is proud to have become a part of that endeavor, earning the chance to be the keynote speaker at the West Virginia Student Leadership Conference last month.

“It’s always about those things,” she said. “We try to be outspoken about issues regarding our heritage and because of that and my dad’s work here, when people hear my last name is Khader, they know who I am. My dad has created so much for the name Khader. We are representatives of Marshall. We are representatives of the Muslim community, and that has meaning.”

Malak will be starting her doctoral studies at the University of North Texas in the fall of 2017. Upon completion of the program, she will become the fourth Dr. Khader of the household, following her father and two older brothers. Eagerly proceeding her is her younger brother, a sophomore at Marshall University. Her older siblings studied medicine, Malak will study Information Sciences and the youngest is anticipating medical school as well.

“It’s so funny because people will call my dad, asking for Dr. Khader and actually be looking for one of my brothers,” she said. “I guess I can get in on that fun in the next couple of years.”

As proud Sons and Daughters of Marshall, the Khaders breathe Kelly green. All six family members have either taught or studied at MU and have worked hard to grow the Khader name on campus. Through their dedication to family, religion and history, they have become a Proud #MarshallUFamily.