The council offers parents an independent relationship and network to Rawls College.
The Rawls Parents Council was founded in spring 2021 with the goal of giving parents of students enrolled at the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business an opportunity to connect with the college in a unique way.
“The Rawls Parents Council gives [parents] an independent relationship to Rawls that's not through their student,” said Ryan Todd senior director of engagement and external relations and the staff liaison for the Rawls Parents Council. “I want parents to know that we want to talk to them. If they have questions, we want them to feel comfortable asking them. We want them to come to events in Lubbock or their own cities. We want them to feel involved.”
While the Rawls Parents Council is just getting started, it's actually an idea that has been in the works for quite some time.
“We started seriously talking about something like this in fall 2020,” said Doss. “We have some Rawls Parents Council members who are Tech alums, but there are some that are new to the Texas Tech family. How great is it for parents to get involved this way and support their student and the college? It's like ‘Welcome to the family.'”
Taking on the role as chairperson of the Rawls Parents Council is Julie Meyer, a 1983 finance graduate. Meyer currently is the Senior Vice President and Market President for Independent Financial.
“It was her love of Rawls,” said Doss about what made Meyer the immediate pick to be the chairperson. “She's a strong leader, exceptionally warm and personable. You want to be around Julie. She's just magnetic.”
Meyer's been an active supporter of Rawls College for several years, serving as a member on the Rawls Advisory Council, the Texas Tech School of Banking Advisory Board and the Rawls Excellence in Banking Board. While those past roles had Meyer working on enhancing the student experience, she's excited about pivoting to working with parents.
“My role with the Rawls Parents Council now focuses on giving parents a better experience, providing connections and ways for each parent to be an ambassador [for the college],” said Meyer. “I believe this will ultimately provide a better experience for their Rawls student."
Currently, there are nearly 20 members of the Rawls Parents Council who serve Rawls College in six areas:
- Acting as a liaison between parents and Rawls College
- Providing information and insight to parents of current and prospective students
- Speaking and serving as a resource at college events
- Studying issues and providing guidance to the dean and college leadership
- Contributing to the Rawls Parent Council newsletter
- Assisting with undergraduate and graduate recruitment by making phone calls, sending postcards and attending/hosting events.
“All of these areas contribute to a deeper academic career of the student by having more resources available to them by engaged parents,” said Meyer. “These parents have either walked that path before their kid or are choosing to walk that path alongside them through being active in the Rawls Parents Council.”
To join the Rawls Parents Council, interested parents need to first join the TTU Parents Association and then complete the ambassador training. Doss notes that parents can join the Rawls Parents Council before their student even begins classes, and they can continue their membership after their student graduates.
Parents who join the Rawls Parents Council will have an array of member benefits such as exclusive event invites, but it's the independent relationship to the college that Doss thinks is the most impactful. Parents can find ways to be involved with Rawls College beyond their children's experiences as students.
“To know the different services and opportunities open to the parents themselves is just so great,” said Doss. “There are so many ways they can connect with the college beyond just their child being a student here.”