Parent & Family Newsletter

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

Large or Small, Family Matters

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Letting loose is not letting go...

All of your child's life, you have been given goals set by K-12 teachers, informed of your student's successes as well as areas of concern, and remained the linchpin holding their many activities and "lives" together. Making the collegiate transition is quite a gear change for both students and their families but, at Marshall University...


It's not easy to go from making every decision for your child to walking the fine line between helping (which students still need!) and empowering them to make the decisions for themselves (which students still need!)

Marjorie Savage, Education Specialist in the Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota, says parents play just as crucial a role in the college life as they did in the K-12 life, albeit a different one. Many students still call their families on a daily basis because they are familiar with your style of aid. Despite the innumerable student-centered resources put in place to help your child, we cannot replace family.

So here is a very special "Thank you!" to all those parents who have walked their child through the college process; to all the families who have empowered their student to find their independence, but know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have their back; to all the students who understand the integral role played by you and your family!

Student Affairs Showcase

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Marshall Women's Center

Marshall University strives to enhance student success and promote health and wellness throughout the ever-new lessons of college life. Marshall University’s Women’s Center is among the wealth of student resources offered by the university to bring success to our students and empower leadership.

Leah Tolliver, Director of the Women’s Center, has been an advocate for the women of Marshall and the surrounding Huntington community for 19 years.

“The Women’s Center is here to provide a place in which women’s voices may be heard, and to create empowerment opportunities in leadership,” Tolliver said. “We want to foster the development of those skills and educate both men and women on women’s health care, issues of sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking and sexual harassment.

“We want to create opportunities, from our proactive standpoint, for people to be able to learn and receive resources for services they need.”

The WC has a strong focus on sexual violence prevention and offers workshops, events, panel discussions and community Q&A to further educate the Marshall community. Tolliver opens the center’s doors to all and said students, men or women, should come talk to her if they have great ideas for programs, want to start a student-group or believes changes should be made.

“College is a time for growth and we want to develop that growth,” she said. “We get some really great ideas from students who ask if we’ve ever thought about this or that and we want to bring their ideas to fruition.”

The most important thing to remember, Tolliver said, is the center is here for your students. If parents have worries or concerns, the Marshall University Women’s Center is here to advocate for them.

Featured Family

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The Sowards have always been fans of the Thundering Herd and when Eddie and Bobbi heard their son, John, would become a Son of Marshall, they could not have been happier. As a matter of fact, John’s first experience at a Marshall football game was had in his car seat, looking out high over the field in a Skybox.

Still, the Sowards parents suffered through what nearly every parent does, sending their baby off to college.

“It was harder for me, I think,” mother Bobbi Sowards said. “That first day was rough but we felt comfortable with him being here.”

Eddie said the first day was more difficult than he thought it would be, but leaving him and going home was the hardest.

“We went to Orientation, though, and we learned some things to do and not to do,” Eddie said. “We learned a lot from Marshall officials and they made it fun. The picnic, during Week of Welcome, was good to help bridge the gap from him being at home and then, not.”

John brings another generation of passion for MU to the Sowards, and his parents’ pride in the school grows with each accomplishment their son achieves. A member of JMELI (John Marshall Emerging Leaders Institute), Campus Activities Board, Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity and the Student Government Association, John has built life-lasting friendships and leadership skills that will bring him great success.

“We have always been proud of (John) and his time at Marshall has made us prouder,” Bobbi said. “We come down for his award ceremonies, we try to have dinner with him every week or two. We try not to push him into anything, just encourage him to be passionate about what he does.”

John’s Kelly-green-blooded family does not end with his parents. His grandmother, Irene, follows his Marshall endeavors as well, and has crafted Marshall University quilts for him and his fraternity brothers.

“It’s a family thing,” Eddie said about Marshall and the community. “He has a family here, he has a family with us. He has professors that understand and help their students when they need it.”

John’s father spoke highly of Marshall faculty and remembered a time when, after having open-heart surgery, needed John by his side. John’s professors gave tests early, held off due dates and let him miss class to be with his father during recovery. His internship advisor, Associate Dean of Students Matt James, stayed in touch with John every day to check in on Eddie, an act of kindness the Sowards family says builds on to their love for the Marshall Family.

Being a son of Eddie and Bobbie Sowards has led John down the path to Marshall, and becoming a Son of Marshall has been, what John called, the best decision of his life.

Important Dates of February and March

March 1, Wednesday
1st 8 weeks courses end

March 2, Thursday
2nd 8 weeks courses begin

March 13, Monday

Students should schedule appointments with advisors to prepare for advance
registration for summer and fall. (Required for students with mandatory advising holds.)

March 17, Friday
Last day to drop an individual course

March 18, Saturday, Noon
Residence halls close

March 20, Monday -- March 25, Saturday
Spring Break
Classes dismissed

March 27, Monday
Classes resume

March 27, Monday
Recommended date to apply for December 2016 graduation

March 27, Monday -- March 31, Friday
Advance registration for summer sessions (open only to currently enrolled students)