Provost shares his advice and experience as a Tuskegee Parent during breakfast


Walter A. Hill, provost, addresses parents.

TUSKEGEE, Ala. (October 14, 2013) — Parents and families got some inside advice about helping their children succeed at Tuskegee during a breakfast with the provost. Walter A. Hill, who also serves as dean of the College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences, addressed students and their families Oct. 12 at the annual Parents’ Weekend breakfast.

During his remarks in Tompkins Hall cafeteria, Hill gave parents an update on the university’s academic and physical progress. He also shared his experience as a Tuskegee Parent and what it was like watching his youngest son’s journey as a student. Calling it a “prayerful experience,” Hill said the transition was not easy at first and joked about his son’s wish to remain unknown by his parents, who both work at the university.

“But, from a distance, I was able to watch my son grow, mature and work with other students, ” Hill said. “So, Tuskegee is a great place and I can say that from the bottom of my heart.”

Hill also told parents that their engagement was vital to their student’s success. He said they should form relationships with other parents as well as university personnel. Also, he asked parents in the room to name any classes their children were struggling with and gave them available tutoring and academic support options. Sitting with her mother, Anne, student Taryn Dooms stood up and gave the parents more information about chemistry tutoring available with the university’s chapter of the American Chemical Society. The sophomore chemistry major from Mobile, Ala., even volunteered her own personal help. Dooms is president-elect of the society’s chapter.

“See, now that’s a Tuskegee University student!” Hill said as he pointed at Dooms.

‘It takes a village’

Hill continued his address by telling parents that Tuskegee must invest in the future and that new degree programs and classes will give students more variety. He also shared details about the ongoing renovation of Tompkins Hall and its return as the social center for campus. Hill also encouraged parents to engage with the university and volunteer their knowledge and help.

“It takes a village to raise a child; you are a part of that village. We cannot do this well without you,” Hill said. “We are inviting you to creatively find your way.”

Long after the program ended, Hill and other faculty members talked with parents and their students. One parent, Violetta Hudson, said she appreciated the university’s warm reception and the homey atmosphere. Her son, De’Ante Hopkins, a freshman sales and marketing major from Macon, Ga., attended the breakfast with her and several family members.

“It’s very inviting. It feels safe knowing that my child is away from me and that he still has that mothering environment,” Hudson said.

Taryn Dooms talks to parents about chemistry tutoring.

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