It takes an active community of faculty, staff and parents to help students reach their full potential. Barbara McElroy, a longtime Garden City resident and retired attorney with two children of her own on campus, has brought that collaboration to a new level.
While parents of undergraduate students automatically become members of Adelphi’s Parents Association, McElroy decided shortly after her son enrolled that she wanted to be more involved. “It was a mutual connection. I attended a couple of events and made it known that I was hoping to become more active, and the University reached out to me,” she said.
McElroy is now vice president of the Parents Association board, a member of the Adelphi University Performing Arts Center (AUPAC) advisory board and one of the 25 generous women leaders who make up the Women’s Giving Circle. “Members of the Women’s Giving Circle care deeply about Adelphi and want to support it through our time, talents and treasure,” McElroy said. The Circle’s contributions are significant: Since 2011, members have given more than $75,000 in program funding, essay contests and student equipment to support the development of tomorrow’s leaders.
McElroy’s own children, Daniel and Carrie, won’t graduate until 2018 and 2020, respectively. But even after they transition into alumni roles, McElroy said she plans to continue to support the University.
“Adelphi is a wonderful school. It’s still a hidden gem, but we’re trying to make it less so, especially for parents who have kids attending,” she noted. “The administration, faculty and staff I’ve met are particularly warm and gracious. They’re dedicated to the University, which is to say they are dedicated to their students and to you, their parents.”
The appreciation goes both ways. “I can’t say enough about Barbara,” said Kathleen Watchorn ’04, M.F.A. ’11, coordinator of special programs and projects in the Division of Student Affairs. “She’s smart, she’s involved on multiple levels, and she is always searching for ways to make Adelphi better for students and their guardians.”
Sam L Grogg, Ph.D., interim provost and executive vice president, sees McElroy as a shining example. “Barbara reminds us that it’s not just about the students, it’s about the whole family. She’s a true ambassador for families at Adelphi and for all of us who want to make it a great place to get an education, start a life and eventually launch a living,” Dr. Grogg said.
McElroy’s dedication to Adelphi parallels the University’s own pledge to support students from campus to career and beyond. She encourages other parents to join her in making the commitment, which can have tremendous benefits for their children. “Whether you choose to attend cultural, athletic or musical events or become active members of associations, all parents should know that Adelphi welcomes their involvement,” McElroy said. “Much like we tell our students—get involved and you’ll quickly be glad you did.”