As Fordham parents Bob and Sue Stone, PAR ’15, wrap up their two years as co-chairs of the Parents’ Leadership Council (PLC) this spring, they say developing a deeper connection to the Fordham community has made their term of service more rewarding than they could have imagined.
The PLC is a network of parents who are committed to working with Fordham administrators to promote the well-being and advancement of the University. Council members attend periodic meetings and provide support in development fundraising, communications, career services, and student enrichment.
The Stones decided to join the PLC when their youngest son, Jack, a senior in the Gabelli School of Business, enrolled. They had already developed a relationship with Fordham when their older son attended and said they quickly realized it was a special place.
“It’s a very humble, friendly, welcoming environment,” Bob Stone said.
Sue Stone said that Fordham feels like an extension of her own college alumni network. Fordham adopts parents into the fold, inviting them to many of the same cultural programs and University events available to the alumni community.
She said serving on the PLC has helped her have a deeper understanding of the profound support and supportive nature of the Fordham University community.
“You can so quickly see the sense of pride that people have for Fordham. You feel that people are sincerely happy to be doing their job and to be a part of the University,” she said.
While they have worked in many ways over the last two years to contribute to the University through their work on the PLC, Bob Stone said he and Sue feel they have received far more than they have given.
“The council to us has been nothing short of spectacular,” he said. “It’s a very interesting dynamic, as you think you are doing this for your son or daughter, and you soon realize, ‘I’m getting this a lot out of this myself.’”
PLC meetings give parents an opportunity meet with members of the faculty and administration at Fordham, giving them a greater sense of the academic experience of their sons and daughters.
The Stones say it’s helped them understand the value of a Fordham education better. One of their primary goals as co-chairs was to equip parents as ambassadors to share that good news.
Spreading the word about the value of a Fordham education is particularly important outside of the New York City region.
“We want to create a good news chain,” Sue Stone said. “Parents are a link in the chain, wherever they are geographically, and can be a reference point for students and parents who are considering attending Fordham.”
The Stones plan to continue to be involved with the PLC after Jack’s graduation this spring, helping to educate other parents about the opportunity to serve on the council and ensure a smooth transition to the new chairs.
Through their own involvement, the Stones have seen just how vital and rewarding parental involvement in the Fordham experience can be.
“The council is composed of parents from very diverse backgrounds, in terms of both cultural perspectives and business perspectives. And they have the heart and soul of a parent,” she said.
“That kind of involvement makes the community more multigenerational. If you keep parents involved, they will feel that commitment well beyond the time their student is at Fordham.”