Saturday, January 28, 2012

College Bound

I admit that it warms my heart that Goobers and Bear both have interest in colleges in the St. Louis area. I love the idea of them being away from home for college but also being near family.  So where to go?  While in town I took them to just four of the local schools.  I went to ones that I thought they might like because of their learning styles and who in the family went there. 

We started at Webster University.  This is a special place in a way for a few reasons.  From the Website: 
The History of Webster UniversityAlso see the Webster University Archives in the Emerson Library

In the early days of the American frontier, poor children were forgotten when it came to education. The Sisters of Loretto, a Catholic religious organization founded in 1812, set out to offer a solution. 

The Loretto Community dedicated itself to providing education to those who normally might not possess an opportunity to obtain one. It's this mission that remains at the heart of Webster University today.

The Sisters of Loretto laid the cornerstone for Webster University on Nov. 1, 1915. Originally named Loretto College, the school was one of the first Catholic women's colleges west of the Mississippi River. It was progressive for its time, providing higher education to women when it was not generally made available.

Loretto College opened with eight Sisters of Loretto teaching class for five students. Two students populated the first graduating class in 1919.

Five years later, in 1924, the school changed its name to Webster College to avoid confusion with Loretto Academy, a school operated by the Loretto Community on Lafayette Avenue in St. Louis. The North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools accredited Webster College the same year

Why did I include that information.  My grandma Mommom went to Loretto College in the early days before it became Webster College and then Webster University.  In fact her name was Loretto. 

The school has changed tons over the years and in the 90's J went there for his undergraduate.  He felt he got a wonderful education there and I only wish he had been able to visit with us.  I loved the history in the old buildings and even the odd windows that still reflect their Catholic heritage, even though the college no longer has any affiliation with the faith. 
It was a very cold rainy day.  The kids were not at all impressed by the school or the scholarships they might be eligible for because of their dad.  So onto the next school.
Our visit to Fontbonne University was very short.  KeeKee and Uncle Mike went to Fontbonne and loved their experience.  KeeKee still teaches classes there every so often.  She has a wonderful relationship with the place.  It is a Catholic University still to this day and that I thought might draw the kids attention as they love that Pooker is at a Catholic University.  No such luck, they didn't like what they saw.  That ended our first day of college visits.  I admit that I was worried they would end up not liking anything at this rate. 
The kids asked to see Maryville University.  I was embarrassed to admit that I knew very little about this place.  I probably would have liked it back in the day if I had given it a chance.  I wish I had known to look around but at least my kids do.  It was another rainy day so I worried we might end up with the same results as yesterday but I trusted that the kids would look hard to find something that worked for them.  Maryville was a delightful surprise for me.  Their history was one of also a Catholic one, even though they no longer have that affiliation: 

History  -from College View

Maryville University of Saint Louis was founded in 1872 by the Religious of the Sacred Heart, an order established in France by women dedicated to excellence in education. One of the oldest private institutions in the St. Louis region, Maryville was originally an academy for young women; it became a four-year college in 1923 and a university in 1991.

We got a wonderful tour of the place.  They had added many new features.  They even will have woman's swimming next year.  These are things that really interested my kiddos.  They even treated us to lunch in their new cafeteria.  Delicious.  We were surprised to see our names on the board welcoming the visitors.  A very cool touch.  I thought Maryville had won them both over.  I almost avoided the next visit.  Goobers did not hear her major and still wanted to investigate another place.  I am so glad we did. 

We headed to Lindenwood University.  This is located in St. Charles, MO not exactly in St. Louis but very close.  J also went here for his MBA;  so did Aunt Nikki and Aunt Julie, both for both post graduate work.  As the mom driving to each location I so appreciated the clearly marked building where a visitor should start.  (This was the only school that had that clearly marked!)  I find it interesting that this college also had it's origins as a woman's college.  The property had been a family farm and the family cemetery is still in tact and those at rest have a perfect view of the sports field.  Again I was loving the local history lesson. 

We did not have that much time here, considering we spent hours at Maryville.  Lindenwood was so impressive,  wish we had more time there.  We were won over when the admissions director we met with asked about our family name.  He saw that we were from Texas but lived near that park that was named after J's grandfather.  It is always fun to have the name recognized. 
My pictures were not impressive but the visit was.  They have added so much to the University in the past 15 years.  I was so excited to see it all.  I can't wait for J to get the chance to visit the school someday and see all they have to offer.  Goobers found her fit.  She really wants to get here for school.  She knows that she could stay with family to save a little money and still have a wonderful education.  Time will tell.

I can't say for sure that the kids will go to St. Louis area colleges but at least they are open to look.  I was so happy when the discussion came up a few days later.  One of the younger ones said that they wanted to go to A&M even though it didn't have the major they wanted.  Bear voiced his opinion and reminded them not to limit themselves to the schools that were close to our current home.  I think it is good for the soul and for your education to be open to other cities and schools.

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