Dear Parents of Students in the Class of 2021:


Our fall foliage is just about gone, and students have started setting their sights on the end of the semester, making plans to prepare for final papers, projects and exams.  Thanksgiving Break will soon be here (November 26 – December 2), followed by the last day of classes (December 6), reading period (December 7 – December 10) and final exams (December 10-14).  Housing will close at 12:00 noon on December 15 and will reopen at 9:00 a.m. on January 20.  For students participating in Winter Session, housing opens on January 6 and classes begin on January 7. Spring semester classes begin on January 23.


Now that you have had a couple of years to settle into the Wesleyan parent routine, you may want to take a few moments to step back from this experience to contemplate the personal growth and intellectual development that has taken place in your student since first arriving on campus.  You may have already noticed signs of transformation.  Perhaps your student was overwhelmed by the workload that first semester but has now learned how to manage time, balance responsibilities, and prioritize their health and well-being.  Perhaps your student has emerged from the social cocoon of high school and has now developed friendships with students from other parts of the world, with diverse interests and backgrounds.  Or perhaps your student has discovered a passion for learning in a field of study that did not exist in high school.  Likewise, you might want to ask your student to reflect on these changes: “What have you learned about yourself in the past two years?,” “How has Wesleyan helped you better understand the world?,” “How is Wesleyan helping you imagine your future?”


For those of you who have a student participating in study abroad, please take a moment to consider the impact this experience has had on your child. Perhaps this is the first time your child has lived abroad and has had to navigate life far away from home. For some of you, this is par for the course but still another opportunity for your child to grow, learn, and pursue bourgeoning interests and passions. I encourage you to keep the conversations going long after your child meets you at baggage claim. Their photos will be amazing, their stories funny or a little scary, maybe even awe-inspiring. No matter what, give them time to share their wares—verbal or otherwise—even though you may all get tossed back into the hustle and bustle of everyday life rather quickly. Knowing you took the time to listen and appreciate a life-changing journey can make all the difference as they transition home and to Wes.


I will be writing to you again early next year.  In the meantime, please feel free to call or write if you have any questions or concerns. 


All my best,


Tanesha A. Leathers, PhD

Dean for the Class of 2021