Connected for Life: Marya Howell ’91

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Alumni and Family Engagement staffI am a proud Davidson alumna from the class of 1991, and I have had the privilege of working at Davidson College each day for the past six years as the director of Alumni Relations. As of January 1, we are now the Office of Alumni and Family Engagement. I am excited about the expanded approach to this work because we know that the strength of the Davidson network extends beyond our alumni. In order to ensure our efforts are effective and meaningful, we must have involvement from parents and families, too. We rely on and appreciate you.

Whether you are a brand-new Davidson parent whose child was just accepted Early Decision to the class of 2022 (congrats!) or whether you are preparing to watch your student cross the stage at Commencement this May, your connection to Davidson is crucial, and it doesn’t end when your student’s address changes after four years.

From chapter gatherings and Division I sporting events to advising students about their career paths and supporting the areas of campus you care most about, parents play a critical role in the life of the college—above and beyond the immediate influence you have on your own children.

Instagram frame with staffI look forward to the expanded work of our office and the many ways we will connect with you in the future.  For me, Davidson changed the course of my life.  I grew up in Singapore and Washington, D.C., attended DC public schools, and got to Davidson without ever having written a real academic paper. My high school lost my registration every year. I brought a yearbook to the first day of school to prove I had attended the past year. Davidson meant to me a place where my professors and even the College President knew my name.  And, it meant to me a place where I could not fall through the cracks. Faculty members spent time outside of class working with me to grasp new concepts. How inspiring to be part of a place where faculty members treat you as peers and expect that you can do the work. It is amazing what other’s confidence in your abilities allows you to achieve.

When I graduated, faculty members wrote me letters of recommendation because they knew me. They knew my name and cared about me.

THAT is important. That is the Davidson difference. It’s a place where people are encouraged to connect in predictable and unpredictable ways. What’s more, those connections last a lifetime.

When people say Davidson is a family, they mean it. We look out for one another. We help one another. We cheer for one another. The fact that I also get to do this for my job is icing on a great big Wildcat cake. Thank you for being part of our family and for cheering for Davidson.

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About Author

Marya Howell

Marya Howell '91 is the director of the Office of Alumni and Family Engagement at Davidson College. She and her husband, Jeff Kniple, live in Davidson with their two sons.

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