Why Get Involved: Parent Testimonials

Please take a moment to read about several UA families and why they chose to get involved with the Parent & Family Association.

"As our daughter enters her final year at UA, we reflect on all the wonderful students and parents we have met since her freshman year. The PFA has allowed us to become more involved in her experience here and provided many opportunities to network with other parents. The Summer Send Off is exciting and fun, and a great way to start the journey. The Coffee Chats were an enjoyable way to help other parents’ transition into campus life.

It always impresses us that there is so much school spirit and loyalty from the students of this university.  Equally strong is the connection the parents feel and the PFA is a significant contributor to this phenomenon. We have all become part of the family at the University of Arizona, and of course we will always be proud Wildcats."

-Jay and Marcia Iole, Tempe, AZ 
Pictured above: Jay and Marcia Iole and their daughter, Cecilia Class of 2015

"I am a brand new member of the Wildcat family or perhaps I should say my son is.  My husband and I just returned from dropping him off last week, and, in fact, we have not even finished unpacking our bags.  This is our first to "leave the nest' and it is a bit scary, considering we live in New Jersey and he is practically clear across the country!  However, getting involved and getting to know the UA Parents & Family Association (we first met the Co-Chairs, Bill and Polly Morehouse in April at the New York City new student orientation), has made a really big school smaller.  The Wildcat Welcome Conference, the Wildcat Fiesta and the Bon Voyage Brunch were not only fun events, but extremely informative.  I spoke to other friends who all had freshman students going off to various colleges and everyone was so surprised when I told them what we were doing out in Tucson - we had our own orientation!  Additionally, when Lee O'Rourke, Coordinator for PFA, said that the Association would be there for us, she meant it!  I had a question a couple of days into the first week of school and I called her up at practically the end of the day, she answered my questions and was extremely helpful.  I am looking forward to the UA Family Weekend in October, meeting new parents and giving my time and support to the Parents & Family Association.  Or as my son said to me, "Mom, I think that you are more excited than me about the University of Arizona!""

-Tracy McVeigh & Andrew Melitz, PFA Donors, Cedar Grove, New Jersey
Pictured above: Andrew Melitz and Tracy McVeigh and their son, Michael Class of 2018

 "As a new Wildcat family of a freshman, we are so happy to have found the Parents & Family Association.   Getting involved right away as a donor to PFA and participating in the Wildcat Welcome events such as the Bon Voyage Brunch has been a terrific way to start our time with the University of Arizona.   Attending the Bon Voyage Brunch really gave us a sense of confidence that we are leaving our son in an amazing environment, full of caring and loving parents, students, faculty and administrative staff.  We truly feel blessed that he chose UA and UA chose him.  We couldn’t be more excited for him and every minute he gets the privilege of being there with you all.  The UA is such an amazing place for students and for the parents.  The Parents & Family Association, as well as the university, gives us all so much support and confidence, and everyone is super friendly and caring, which in turn makes it an amazing transition for us parents and our kids."

-Bill and Clara Turner, PFA donors, Scotts Valley, California
Pictured above: Bill and Clara Turner and their son, Brett, Class of 2018

"As proud Wildcat parents of a sophomore daughter, we have enjoyed meeting and socializing with other parents through PFA.  We have also been able to share our experiences to help parents of newer students. Even though one of us works at the UA, we find PFA to be a great resource to stay connected. As parents, we have learned about opportunities, events and tips. It is great to know of the rich range of services and diverse experiences available to students at the UA."

-Andrew and Lee Comrie, PFA Board Members from Tucson, Az
Pictured above: Andrew and Lee Comrie and their daughter, Alison, Class of 2017

  "For me as a parent, the University of Arizona Parent & Family Association (PFA) was like a boat full of new friends in a sea of many new choices.  The PFA give parents and their students access to all the resources needed to understand the what, when and how of getting a good start as a UA student.  This starts with Summer Send-Offs before coming to Tucson and then once you show up on campus to move your freshman in to the Residence Halls, the PFA has multiple welcome programs and luncheons with guest speakers and more resources to make the transition smooth and fun!  Then there is the big fun Family Weekend complete with the Parents & Family Association Golf Tournament and football game, and at the end of that you know you have become a Proud Wildcat Parent and that you and your child have become part of the very close and special UA family."

-Ford Braun, Sr., PFA Board Member from Vancouver, Washington
Pictured above: Ford Sr. and his son Ford, Class of 2017, with Wilma and Wilbur

  "When our daughter was accepted to the U of A, she was very excited and so were we until it dawned on us that she would be leaving home and going to college, away from us.  Once that realization began to settle in we became a bit nervous and anxious.  Little did we know that we were gaining an extended family in the form of The University of Arizona!  There are so many resources for students as well as for parents, one being the Parents & Family Association (PFA).

The PFA has been instrumental in keeping us informed on what’s happening on campus and in the community.  It also gives us peace of mind knowing that we have an advocate for us and our student, a support system of people who care.  College can be a stressful time for students, as well as parents.   When we need a person to call in times of need the staff at the Parents & Family Association is who we call to get our questions answered.

The PFA also gives grants to a variety of student services and organizations such as SafeRide which provides rides to students after dark and The Parents as Partners Program which provided a Family Resource Guide to families during move-in to the Residence Halls.  These are just two of the many programs supported by PFA.

The PFA also allows parents to network with each other through various events such as Summer Send-Offs, Coffee Chats and Family Weekend activities.   When you need help or just want to talk with other parents  it helps to know we are not alone, that we're all in this together.   Once your student is a Wildcat, they are a Wildcat For Life! And that's a true statement for the parents and family members as well.

I feel very comfortable knowing that my daughter is at The Best College in the NATION!  That people do care and that I have an outlet for all my questions.  I have PEACE OF MIND concerning my student’s Education and Safety.  You have not lost a child; you've gained a FAMILY with the Parents &Family Association.

My wife and I found PFA so helpful that we joined the Advisory Board and are now the Co-Chairs for Student Recruitment and Retention.    We can use your talents, your time and your gifts.   Please contact if you would like to get involved.   We hope to see you at Family Weekend!"

-Joel & Katherine Lewis, PFA Board Members and Co-Chairs for the Student Recruitment & Retention Committee from Moreno Valley, California
Pictured above: Joel & Katherine with their daughter Olivia, Class of 2016, and their son, Joel, Class of  2017

  "As a parent of a UA student, I became involved with UA Parent & Family Association because of its emphasis on building a strong sense of community for UA families.  The UAPFA provides valuable resources for UA families to be involved in campus life regardless of where they live."

Bonnie Klahr, PFA Board Member and Legislative Affairs Liaison from Green Valley, Arizona
Pictured above: Elliot and Bonnie with their son, Max, Class of 2016.

  "My son is now a Sophomore at U of A.  Our home is in Hawaii.  The thought of him going to a big school far away from home presented some challenges for me as a mom. I learned about PFA when we went to orientation and I signed up right away.  I am SO happy that I did.  I feel that this group is my source of information.  It allows me to stay connected and informed. Also, I feel comfortable to email or use the Facebook page to stay in contact when I have a question."

-Wanda Ortiz Thayne, PFA donor and mom to James, Class of 2016, from Mililani, Hawaii
Pictured above: Wanda