Program for Presidential Spouses and Partners

Developed by an advisory group of presidential spouses, the Program for Presidential Spouses and Partners—the oldest and largest of its kind in the country—runs concurrently with the program for presidents and provides opportunities to share information and advice. Spouses and partners of presidents also are welcome at sessions for presidents, unless otherwise noted.

7:15–8:15 a.m.
Breakfast Discussion Groups
First-Year Spouses and Partners
Pam Fleming, Presidential Spouse, Palm Beach Atlantic University

Second-Year Spouses and Partners
Tina Dalrymple, Presidential Spouse, Columbia College (MO)

Third-Year Spouses and Partners
Tammy Chenoweth, Presidential Spouse, Bethel College (IN)

Fourth to Fifth-Year Spouses and Partners
Lisa Evans, Presidential Spouse, Carroll College (MT)

Sixth to Seventh-Year Spouses and Partners
Norman G. Knight, Presidential Spouse, Pacific Union College

Eighth to Tenth-Year Spouses and Partners
Michelle Dorsey, Presidential Spouse, Texas Lutheran University

Eleventh-Year and above Spouses and Partners
Sheila J. Garren, Presidential Spouse, Lynchburg College
Welcome, Address, and Luncheon
10:15 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
The Role of the Spouse or Partner in Fundraising and Friend-raising for the Institution
Presidential spouses and partners come from all walks of life. Some are current or former faculty members or other professionals with their own careers, some are stay-at-home parents or caregivers for other family members, some are very active with institutional advancement efforts and some are less active. All spouses and partners want the best for the institutions they serve. How can they work most effectively with the professional advancement staff on behalf of the institution?
Alice M. Starr, presidential spouse at Baylor University, has earned accolades for her business and charitable organization leadership. She formed Starr Strategies in 2005 to help nonprofit organizations strategize on public relations, marketing, and fundraising. She has more than 35 years of experience working with businesses to strengthen their visibility and reputation and has raised millions of dollars for nonprofits through unique events and strategic marketing campaigns. For 16 years, Starr was a vice president of WEST*GROUP, a commercial real estate firm located in Tysons Corner, Virginia. She administered all of its charitable and political contributions, marketing campaigns, and special events. Previously, Starr worked as director of consumer affairs for NVR, a large national home builder, and as vice president for business and community services at the Washington Airports Task Force. She presently serves as a member of the board of directors of Cardinal Financial Corporation and the advisory board of George Washington’s Mount Vernon. She is a director of the Claude Moore Colonial Farm, McLean Project for the Arts, and Medical Care for Children Partnership. Starr formerly served as president of the Corporate Community Relations Council of Northern Virginia, chair of the Fairfax County Public Library Foundation Inc., president of Volunteer Fairfax, president of McLean Project for the Arts, and president of the McLean Chamber of Commerce. She also served as a director of the American Red Cross for the National Capital Region and as a commissioner on the Virginia Commission for the Arts. Starr earned a BA in psychology from Skidmore College and a master’s degree in college administration from the University of Miami. She is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

Chair: Norman G. Knight, Chair, Presidents Institute Spouses and Partners Task Force, and Presidential Spouse, Pacific Union College
2:00–4:00 p.m.
Networking and Discussion Session: Getting to Know You
Presidential spouses and partners are invited to gather for a lively social event that will provide an opportunity to talk with other spouses and partners about topics of mutual interest. Come greet dear friends and make new ones.
Traci Corey, Presidential Spouse, Olivet College
Marcia Millet, Presidential Spouse, Stillman College

7:15 – 8:15 a.m.
Breakfast Discussion Groups
Building a Sense of Community on Campus
Mary Sallee, Presidential Spouse, William Jewell College
Community Involvement
Jennifer Gervasi, Presidential Spouse, Quincy University
Coping with Life Transitions
Maeve O’Connor, Presidential Spouse, Warren Wilson College
Engaging Students on Campus
Cheryl E. Perkins, Presidential Spouse, Virginia Union University
Male Spouses and Partners
Roger Fell, Presidential Spouse, The University of Findlay
Modernizing the Role: Spouses and Partners Who Work or Live away from the Campus
Lora Hess, Presidential Spouse, Wabash College

10:15–11:30 a.m.
Challenges of the Sandwich Generation: Options for Care of Elderly Family Members
Many presidential couples are part of the “sandwich generation” with responsibilities for children or grandchildren as well as aging parents or other relatives. What are good options for caring for elderly loved ones while living in the presidential home? Should aging parents stay in their familiar communities or move nearby? What new options are available for eldercare, and what qualities should be examined in selecting an adult community? What are effective ways to start a conversation with aging family members about arrangements when it is time for a move?
Roger Auerbach, Presidential Spouse, University of La Verne
Traci Corey, Presidential Spouse, Olivet College
Marylou Habecker, Presidential Spouse, Taylor University
Chair: Laurie Roelofs, Presidential Spouse, Berea College
Social Media for Presidential Spouses and Partners
What do presidential spouses and partners need to know about social media? What platforms are available, and what are their respective user cultures? Which platforms should be avoided? How can spouses and partners use social media to build community on campus? What are effective ways to protect the privacy of children and other family members on social media? The session will examine advantages and dangers of social media use and provide tips for using it effectively.
Christine Burns-DiBiasio, Presidential Spouse, Ohio Northern University
Lora Hess, Presidential Spouse, Wabash College
Chair: Peggi Kriegbaum, Presidential Spouse, Fresno Pacific University

11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Book Study—Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
This session will begin with small-group discussions of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain and conclude with an examination of what it means to be an introvert or extrovert (or something in between). Suggestions for meshing the strengths and styles of presidential couples based on where each member falls on the introvert-extrovert continuum also will be discussed. It is recommended (but not required) that participants read the book in advance.
Michelle Dorsey, Presidential Spouse, Texas Lutheran University
A. McGuire Gordon, Presidential Spouse, The College of Saint Rose
Chair: Selby Artis, Presidential Spouse, Florida Memorial University
Parenting Young Children on Campus
Raising young children during one’s presidency presents opportunities for great joy as well as challenges to balance the competing demands of parenthood and a profession. In addition to the normal complications of family life, the children of presidents are often highly visible both on and off campus. Presidents and a presidential couple with young children will describe their approaches to juggling parenthood and the presidency as they seek to maximize the rewards and minimize the frustrations.
James S. Dlugos, Jr., President, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine
Melissa Jones Dlugos, Presidential Spouse, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine
Michael Hemesath, President, Saint John’s University (MN)
Mary Hinton, President, College of Saint Benedict
Chair: Rachel Rumple-Comerford, Presidential Spouse, Blackburn College
1:30–3:30 p.m.
Networking and Discussion Session: Events, Programs, and Processes that Work
What events, programs, or processes have you begun or continued on your campus that foster a sense of campus community, are efficient and effective, and are popular with trustees, faculty and staff members, students, and other groups? Presidential spouses and partners will exchange information about events, programs, and processes that work on their campuses. Please bring materials to share if you have them. Ideas will be posted online for easy reference after the Institute.
Christy Colson, Presidential Spouse, Wartburg College
J. Lawrence Smith, Presidential Spouse, York College of Pennsylvania

7:30–8:30 a.m.
Breakfast Discussion Groups
Constructing a Family Manual
Norman G. Knight, Presidential Spouse, Pacific Union College
Dark Chocolate, Red Wine, and Other Healthy Foods
John Przybylski, Presidential Spouse, Regis College (MA)
Spouse or Partner Reports to the Board
Michelle Dorsey, Presidential Spouse, Texas Lutheran University
Strategies for Helping “Curling Parents”
Kelly Knapp, Presidential Spouse, Hope College
The Last President Didn’t Have a Spouse...
Rachel Rumple-Comerford, Presidential Spouse, Blackburn College

8:45–9:45 a.m.
Environmental Initiatives on Campus
Most colleges have recycling programs, encourage the use of refillable water bottles rather than bottled water, and use LEED principles in new construction. How can a campus move to the next level of environmental awareness and action? How can the presidential spouse or partner encourage student, staff, and faculty efforts to make the college more environmentally friendly? Initiatives to be discussed include working with the food service to use locally-sourced ingredients and compost food waste, encouraging carpooling for trips off campus, engaging in sustainable and native plant gardening, and working with students and the local community on interdisciplinary cooperative projects.
Sharon Kazee, Presidential Spouse, University of Evansville
Mary L. Trettin, Presidential Spouse, Northland College
Chair: Prema Samhat, Presidential Spouse, Wofford College
Moving On: Planning for the End of a Presidency
Presidential transitions occur for a variety of reasons, including retirement, a second presidency, or moving into an entirely new career. What steps can the president and the presidential spouse or partner take to ensure a smooth transition for the next campus leader? What issues should the president and the spouse or partner consider to protect their own best interests? Are there structures or processes that could be established early in a presidency that will pave the way for a smooth transition? Experienced presidential couples will discuss effective transition strategies.
George E. Farenthold, former Presidential Spouse, Wells College
Annie Miller, Presidential Spouse, Virginia Wesleyan College
Scott D. Miller, President, Virginia Wesleyan College
Lisa Marsh Ryerson, President, AARP Foundation, and President Emerita, Wells College
Chair: Heather Knight, President, Pacific Union College