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Alumni and Friends Making an Impact

Parent Leaders

When an incoming student becomes a Flyer, their parents also join the UD family — which is especially true for members of the Parent Leadership Council.

“It’s a way to be involved without being too intrusive in my daughter’s new life,” said PLC member Melanie Twomey. “Beyond that, it’s a way of giving back to all the other students. There is a definite feeling of we’re all in this together.”

Melanie and her husband Andy currently serve as the Parent Leadership Council co-chairs. They have been involved since their daughter Juliet, now a senior, started at UD.

“Juliet could have gone anywhere but the reason she picked UD was because of the feeling of community,” Melanie said. That feeling translated into a desire to make a difference.

The Parent Leadership Council is an active network of parents who work closely with top-level leadership, including President Eric Spina, to advocate for students and increase resources through philanthropy. The PLC numbers 49 members with approximately 20 council members added annually.

“The PLC provides thoughtful feedback and input to the highest levels at the University and President Spina really values that feedback,” said Bridget Holt, director of parent engagement and philanthropy. “They are advocates for the things that are meaningful to them for their students and help raise money for those initiatives.”

Their input was especially valuable during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as when return-to-campus discussions were happening.

“We were definitely part of the equation as things were evolving,” Melanie said. “Dr. Spina listened to the things we were concerned about. And UD did an amazing job keeping our kids safe through all of it while still allowing them some freedom.”

PLC members also attend or host UD events in their community and encourage other parents to participate in One Day, One Dayton — an effort that resulted in raising $58,000 this year for Student Development’s Excellence Fund to support physical and mental health initiatives. Student well-being is at the very core of the PLC’s initiatives as the council contributed to the Student Crisis Fund in 2020.

“We have a voice that’s heard and valued, and our input is considered so the administration can make the best decisions possible,” Melanie said.

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