Lauren Heaney ’18 and her father Steve first visited Ohio Wesleyan on an orientation trip, flying in from their home in Los Angeles in 2013. The trip was the start of Lauren’s journey.
“There were a lot of things that immediately drew Lauren to Ohio Wesleyan,” Steve says, “the global learning opportunities such as The OWU Connection, the beautiful campus, friendly students, and the genuine welcome people gave her.”
Lauren’s final decision wasn’t hard. “They really made me feel at home,” she told her parents, Steve and Hope.
Along the way, Steve and Hope were transformed, too. The OWU welcome sparked the Heaneys’ interest in becoming active with the University through the Parents Leadership Council, a community of OWU ambassador parents who participate in educational, social, and fundraising outreach programs to engage other new and prospective OWU parents.
Council members visit campus twice a year to meet with students, faculty, other parents, and administrators. They also participate in gift giving through the Parents Fund.
“We recognize that tuition and fees don’t cover all the great liberal arts programs, and it’s our way of helping the school offer opportunities to all students,” Steve says of the Parents Fund. He and Hope feel their contributions can help create an affordable OWU to make a difference in meeting the full financial needs of admitted students, holding down student debt, and recruiting talented, high-need applicants.
Hope appreciates OWU’s outreach to parents through the Parents Leadership Council, including hearing from OWU administrators about issues facing the school. “OWU feels so accessible,” she says. “It’s wonderful that they engage parents and exchange ideas. It’s clear our opinion matters—they’re listening.”
Lauren, an English and creative writing major who is the youngest of the Heaney’s three children, plans to spend spring semester abroad in Ireland in Spring 2017.
Hope and Steve encourage other parents to participate in the council and to support the Parents Fund. “It’s a great way to connect with your child’s education,” says Steve.