September 2008

Dear Parents and Friends of WPI,

Welcome to our first edition of The Fountain, WPI's parents newsletter, for the 2008–09 academic year. It's hard to believe that summer has passed by so very quickly, but rest assured, the WPI faculty and staff are again ready to greet our students on their arrival back to campus. Indeed, many of us find campus just a little too quiet when our students are away during the summer.

As parents, it's always interesting to look back at what has been happening in the world over the past 18 years. I find the Beloit College Mindset List to be especially interesting, as it provides a wonderful and reminiscent reminder of the major events, famous names (that we recognize….although our students may not), etc. that have helped shape the lives, attitudes, and behavioral norms of the Class of 2012, most of whom were born in 1990.

As we start the academic year, please know that the faculty and staff are here to help your son or daughter succeed academically and socially. The Dean of Students staff is generally your first contact when you have concerns or questions; please encourage your student to utilize the many resources we have on campus to enhance their academic achievement, growth, and satisfaction.

Gregory Snoddy
Associate Dean of Students

The Start of Fall Semester, 2008

Jim McLaughlin, Director, Campus Center and Student Activities

On Sunday, August 24, over 900 new students—the Class of 2012, the largest class in WPI history —arrived on campus and moved into their residence halls to begin their WPI educational experience. Move-in day is an exciting one at WPI, but it’s a challenge unpacking 900 vehicles in a relatively short time frame. However, with the help of about 250 student volunteers from the fraternities and sororities, the process ran quite smoothly. Hats off to them!!

New Student Orientation marks the kickoff event for the new academic year. NSO is designed to provide support and assistance to our new students as they begin to acclimate themselves to their new environment at WPI. Making the transition from high school to the university can be difficult for new students. The orientation program provides resources and strategies to help our students meet those challenges. In addition, workshops designed specifically for parents on move-in day help answer the many questions and concerns parents may have as their students begin their years at WPI.

Research has shown that student peers can be particularly helpful to new students in their first year of college. Providing personal support are Community Advisors (CAs) and Resident Assistants (RAs), who, through our Insight program, work in partnership with faculty advisors over the first two terms.

Parents, you may rest assured that your sons and daughters were quite busy throughout the four-day New Student Orientation program. They've developed new friendships, socialized with peers, and learned about the academic programs as well as the history and traditions we are so proud of at WPI.

Special educational workshops dealing with the topic of alcohol use and abuse, sexual assault, community service, and student involvement in over 140 student organizations on campus were integrated into the New Student Orientation program. Evening programs included a wide variety of entertainment programs planned by numerous student organizations.

At the end of NSO, we believe we’ve helped our new students be prepared for their first day of classes. We’re also confident that, as the weeks go, by your sons and daughters will gain knowledge of the many resources available to help them be successful at WPI.

Letting Go: Suggestions for Parents of New (and Old) College Students

Charlie Morse, Director, WPI Student Development and Counseling

Whether your first child is going to college or you’re a seasoned veteran at this transition, the next few weeks and months could be an emotional roller-coaster for you and your son or daughter. It’s only natural that you and your student experience ambivalence in this transition— excitement and fears, great expectations and disappointments, conflicting needs for independence and dependence. First and foremost, I suggest you hold on for the ride and try to maintain open communication with your son or daughter. Here are some additional suggestions:

  • Recognize and respect that they will have a considerable amount of autonomy on campus and, while this may be what they’ve dreamed of, it may provoke some anxiety and confusion.
  • You may find yourself acting more like a coach or advisor; you have every right and responsibility to share your opinion and advice. Any attempts to insist they adhere to your rules will probably not succeed. Stay connected and negotiate.
  • Shift responsibility to them when possible; encourage them to solve their own problems and reach out to resources on campus for help, such as an RA, academic advisor, faculty member, health services, or counselors.
  • Have a discussion about your concerns or expectations (and theirs) on alcohol use, time management, budgeting, and academic outcomes.
  • In discussions, focus on the content of your student’s courses rather than grades. The first few terms can be a major adjustment and they may not be able to get the grades they were accustomed to in high school.

Often, letting go successfully involves staying connected in a different way. Your son or daughter will want to look like they’re holding it all together, but they may need you more than ever over the next few months.

  • Let them know you’re still there for them; talk about how often you wish to speak by phone when they’re gone. (Let them take the lead on this.)
  • Send care packages and notes of encouragement; convey important family news to help them stay connected with home. Acquaint yourself with Instant Messaging if you haven’t already, but reach out carefully; they can and will block you.
  • Plan a visit to campus (just dropping in is probably not advisable). Try to come to Parents Weekend (Sept. 19-21) even if they say they “don’t care” if you can make it. It’s a great opportunity for them to show off their new community.

While its your son or daughter moving into WPI, we welcome the entire family as a part of our community. We have many excellent programs and resources to help in their transition here and fully expect it will be a successful one. As part of the WPI family we welcome and encourage you to reach out to us with any concerns you may have about your son or daughter and their success as a WPI student.

Career Development Center Update

Jeanette Doyle, Director, Career Development Center

This summer the CDC held a contest to rename the software system (old name – CareerPlanner) used for job postings. More than 400 students voted and we are happy to announce the winner – Job Finder. Job Finder is a comprehensive system that houses job postings, on-campus recruiting, information on employers attending the career fairs, handouts, podcasts on our workshops, and much more. Encourage your son or daughter to set up their Job Finder account today!

Workshops for Undecided Majors

The Career Development Center will lead the three-part Major Exploration Series, which will help first year students identify the various majors that WPI has to offer by helping them assess their own interests. Seminar 1: Think About Your Major will cover assessing interests, values, and skills. Seminar 2: The Difference Between a Major and a Career will discuss how to research careers and the difference between a major, minor, and career—along with facilitating industry exposure. Seminar 3: Why Experiences Are Valuable will review internship and co-op experiences and discuss how to obtain an internship—along with resume and other services. The Major Exploration Series will be offered in B, C, and D Terms.

Walk-in Meetings with a Counselor

If students have a quick question or want a resume critiqued, they may meet with a counselor for a short 15-minute appointment on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m.

Career Development Center Upcoming Events:

September 3

CDC Season Premiere, Come learn what’s new at the CDC

10 a.m. - 2 p.m., outside the CDC by the fountain

September 4

First Year Students Can Be Interns: Jump-start Your Search

7-8 and 8-9pm, Campus Center Odeum

September 8 - 12

Walk-in Employer Resume Critiques at the CDC

September 10

How to Work A Career Fair, sponsored by United Technologies

6pm, SL115

September 17 & 18

Fall Career & Graduate School Fair

1-5 p.m.

September 20

Parents Weekend: Return on Your Investment: How to Jump-start Your Career with an Internship or Co-op

September 23

Corporate Interview Panel with GE, Boston Scientific, and Analog Devices

5 p.m.

Greetings from the WPI Parents Fund!

The Parents Fund provides parents with opportunities to participate in and support their students’ experience at WPI. This special part of the WPI Annual Fund is vital to maintaining WPI as a world-class university whose dedication to both undergraduate and graduate education has placed it as a top institution of higher learning in science and technology. Gifts to the Parents Fund are used to support the current operations of the university, and have an immediate impact on the day-to-day life and academic experience of today’s students.

Parents Weekend Reception

You are invited to attend a reception hosted by the Parents Fund in Higgins House, Saturday, September 20, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. The gathering offers parents an opportunity to talk with other parents about their experiences, and enjoy this unique and beautiful building on campus. For more information about the Parents Fund at WPI, please visit our website or contact Patrick T. Maloney, Associate Director of Annual Giving at or 1-877-WPI-FUND.

News about WPI: Ranks WPI 9th in Top Colleges for Getting Rich Survey

To read's article on "Top Colleges for Getting Rich".

WORCESTER, Mass.– August 8, 2008 – A recent ranking compiled by recognizing the "Top Colleges for Getting Rich" rated Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) ninth in the nation. based their rankings on the salaries of both recent graduates and those with 10 to 20 years of experience. Median salaries among WPI graduates with up to five years of experience averaged $61,000. For graduates with 10 to 20 years of experience, the median was $114,000. The median top salary among WPI graduates was $180,000. Other colleges rounding out the top-10 of this ranking include Dartmouth, Princeton, Stanford, Yale, MIT, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Notre Dame, and the Polytechnic University of New York, Brooklyn.

"Having worked in academia for more than 30 years, I say with confidence that WPI's students are among the most remarkable – and marketable – in the nation. As such, I am delighted, but not surprised, by the findings of," said WPI President and CEO Dennis D. Berkey. "From the moment they arrive on campus to the time of their graduation, WPI students are fully engaged in a remarkably fast-paced curriculum. Our students are constantly working in teams and with professors to apply their knowledge to solving real-world problems through our project-based program. Industry recognizes the value of a WPI education, and businesses actively recruit current students and alumni alike."

Top recruiters of WPI students include Raytheon, United Technologies Corp., General Electric, General Dynamics, EMC2, Teradyne, Analog Devices, BAE Systems, Fidelity Investments, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Intel, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Hewlett Packard, Compaq Computer, National Grid, Mass. Electric, IBM Rational, Lucent Technologies, Accenture, Genzyme, and UMASS. The placement rate for WPI's class of 2007 was 90 percent. The majority of WPI students stay in New England, but graduates are employed nationwide.

The survey is based on information that was gathered in a recent study by which looked at earnings of alumni from colleges nationwide. The numbers reflect only the earnings of bachelor degrees recipients; all alumni who went on to earn graduate degrees were excluded. Only colleges with more than 1,000 enrolled students were included in the survey. Salary totals included bonuses, commissions, and profit sharing.

Chartwells announces enhancements to our already popular 190 Commuter Meal Plan

The 190 Commuter Meal Plan allows students not living in a residence hall the ability to purchase a block of meals that can be used in our "all you care to eat" dining hall in Morgan Hall and at the Campus Center's Profiles in Good Taste. The meals can be used for guests and the plan offers a 10% discount off the standard dinner rate in Morgan Hall.

The new and improved 190 Commuter Meal Plan offers the option to buy meals in the Goat's Head Restaurant and our Outtakes convenience store, located in Founders Hall, adjacent to our newest residence building, East Hall.

Students who purchase the 190 Commuter Meal Plan find exceptional value in the flexibility it provides— unused meals are carried forward from semester to semester, and year to year.

Benefits of the 190 Commuter Meal Plan

Use any number of meals for you and/or an invited guest at Morgan Hall's "all you care to eat" facility at any time—or take out a grab-and-go meal at any time from Morgan Hall.

Short on time? Use your meal equivalency feature at the Campus Center Food Court for Quiznos, Coyote Jack's, and Gompei's Pizzeria!

Use your 190 Commuter Meal Plan to eat in our cool new restaurant-The Goat's Head. Our extensive pub-style menu is available most nights until 11!

Grab a breakfast meal from our new Outtakes convenience store, located on Dean Street in Founders Hall. Open 7am—11pm for coffee, pastries, snacks, and a host of convenience items.

Purchase the 190 Commuter plan online.

Pirates, Rivalries, Great Music, and More

2008–09 Peddler Yearbook Staff

Are we posting the formula for the perfect summer blockbuster? We are not. We're describing the WPI experience as it was published in this past year's Peddler. WPI is a school that encourages everyone's involvement on campus, whether they are freshmen or seniors. Only at WPI are all of the students able to partake in clubs, sports, and various other activities hosted on campus.

So what does this have to do with the Peddler? The Peddler staff feels that it is our responsibility to document everything that occurs on campus each year as accurately as possible in each new edition of the WPI yearbook. Just last year, the Peddler was at Winter Carnival, Quadfest, the Yellowcard and State Radio concerts, and at many of the sports competitions taking pictures for the book. The yearbook also depicted a majority of clubs on campus. Clubs ranging from the 190 FIRST Robotics Team to the Social Committee were pictured. The full spectrum of college life was represented in last year's book, and will definitely be represented in as well if not better next year's book, and even in books in the future.

Now you're asking what does this have to do with me? It's simple. The college yearbook is no longer just for the seniors. The Peddler is produced by students for students—for all students. The first three years of college are just as important as the final year. Why should seniors be the only ones to get a book in memory of the past year? Even though yearbooks started out to be solely for seniors, the Peddler has extended its focus to include students of all classes.

Last year's Peddler was 192 pages thick. Only 48 of those pages were reserved for seniors, which included senior portraits, candids, and pictures of Commencement. The remaining 144 pages were dedicated to the WPI student body as a whole, encompassing all activities that happened on campus.

So, this year, when your son or daughter mentions that they received an email from the Peddler office with an order form for the book, please don't discard the idea. Remember that the Peddler represents all of WPI's students, not just the seniors. Remember that your son or daughter has as likely a spot in this year's book as everyone else. Finally, remember that college is a time to remember. It will be some of the best four years of your student's life. Why not order a Peddler to help them reminisce later on?

Next time you are in the Admissions or Financial Aid offices, be sure to look at the past copies of the Peddler. Thumb through the pages, notice the variety of activities your son or daughter can be a part of on campus. Encourage them to join clubs, a sports team, or a fraternity or sorority. Encourage them to enjoy WPI to its full potential. There is always fun to be had at WPI!

Photo courtesy of WPI student Chris Lehrman.

  • Email a Friend
  • Bookmark this Page
  • Share this Page