September 2018

Hello Parents and Families:

It is the beginning of week three on campus, only 13 more to go for the fall semester. If you have spoken with your student any time recently you are probably aware that homework, papers, and exams are beginning. I wanted the opportunity to share briefly about two topics in this months “Calling Home.”

First, prior to the semester beginning new students arrive five days early for New Student Orientation. This year the theme for New Student Orientation was Name Over Number. This was chosen because at Gardner-Webb, every student is an individual to us. We are intentional about getting to know students, investing in students, being available to students, and making sure students leave Gardner-Webb prepared for a meaningful personal and professional life. That being said, please reach out to me if you want to dialogue about your student’s experience at Gardner-Webb. We want his or hers expectation to align with the experience.

Second, I wanted to share a few details regarding Generation Z. In Student Development, we try to consider these characteristics in programing, personal development, recreation, and more.

  • Generation Z are individuals born in 1995 and beyond. Most likely it will end with those born in 2012. Therefore, most of the traditional undergraduate students on campus are Generation Z.
  • They are referred to as the digital natives or iGeneration. They use one device for all their needs (music, calendar, and phone). On average they check their phones 80 times per day.
  • With awareness to most of the world’s problems, they want to use their tools and knowledge to find solutions.
  • Words used to describe Generation Z: loyal, compassionate, thoughtful, open-minded, and responsible.
  • Generation Z are at the forefront of the worst mental health crisis in decades.
  • They are concerned for not only their physical safety but their emotional safety too.

(Source of facts: Generation Z Goes to College by Corey Seemiller & Meghan Grace; iGen by Jean Twenge).

I would encourage you to continue to learn about Generation Z and explore how you can help them transition well into adulthood.

If you are on campus, please stop by and introduce yourself. I am located in the Tucker Student Center. You and your student are important at Gardner-Webb.

Thank you,

Sarah Currie signature

Sarah A. Currie
Vice President of Student Development & Dean of Students