It’s hard to get parents to go home again once they’ve dropped off their kids at college, reports the New York Times.
In order to separate doting parents from their freshman sons, Morehouse College in Atlanta has instituted a formal “Parting Ceremony.”
It began on a recent evening, with speeches in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel. Then the incoming freshmen marched through the gates of the campus — which swung shut, literally leaving the parents outside.
When University of Minnesota freshmen move in at the end of this month, parental separation will be a little sneakier: mothers and fathers will be invited to a reception elsewhere so students can meet their roommates and negotiate dorm room space — without adult meddling.
Grinnell College gathered students on one side of the gymnasium bleachers, parents on the other.
The president welcoming the class of 2014 had his back to the parents — a symbolic staging meant to inspire “an aha! moment,” said Houston Dougharty, vice president of student affairs, “an epiphany where parents realize, ‘My student is feeling more comfortable sitting with 400 people they just met.’ ”
Then the parents were urged to go home.
Colleges officials talk of “velcro” parents.