The Loyola Mothers’ Guild, led by Loyola parent Elizabeth Warner, and the Fathers’ Club, directed by Loyola parent Will Smith, created a virtual solution connecting new families at Loyola through the Cub411 Social. Formerly known as the ‘LMG Area Coffees’ or ‘The Welcome Meeting,’ Loyola’s parent associations have discovered an online outlet to connect first-year students and transfer families to the widespread Loyola community.
The LMG Area Coffees event has been a tradition for several years. Loyola mothers would invite other new mothers who lived in the same neighborhood to their homes. Here, new mothers could ask questions about Loyola and meet other moms, similar to The Welcome Meeting for fathers. Because of the pandemic, the event has been changed to an online social for families with the same zip code.
Warner said, “We have been looking forward to combining forces with the Fathers’ Club to team up to do something together, and this was a no-brainer. All parents need tips and tricks, not just moms. So our inaugural co-sponsored event became Cub411 Social!”
A total of seven socials were held for families. Over 300 new Loyola parents attended the event through Zoom. Hosting the event online allowed for more families to participate and socialize with each other.
For example, Warner said, “We utilized multiple breakout rooms several times to get to know each other in a smaller group, and then we played a really fun game of Kahoot. We used the trivia game to share those tips and tricks every new parent should know. The good-natured fun made for a really entertaining Zoom meeting.”
Freshman and transfer families listened to veteran parents speak about the deep connection they can expect to be made throughout their time at Loyola. The event revealed one central theme: Trust the Process; Trust Your Son.
Parents received exclusive content that only first-year students see at their retreat. For example, parents got to watch a video, produced by senior Liam Gaffney, that describes the strong bond between students. Showing this video was indeed a treat, but it also carried the message that Loyola students are ‘Cubs 4 Life.’
Warner stated, “It is something we strive to do every year. We made certain to engage everyone who joined and keep it intimate and casual.”
Smith added, “I am highly confident that it was a positive experience for everyone, and we received a lot of positive feedback from the freshman parents who participated.”
Due to the absence of in-person events, these newer families have not had as many chances to interact. Loyola’s mission for new families is to get them acclimated and feel like they belong in the community despite the pandemic, and the new base of Loyola’s freshman and transfer classes benefited from this event.
Smith stated, “Given the significant amount of information shared by experienced Cub parents in the several Cub411 Socials, I believe that the Cub community was strengthened and new families who participated feel more connected to the Loyola community and have information about how to get involved and participate in it. Sharing ways to get involved in the Loyola community through personal experiences was a fundamental purpose of the Cub411 events.”