Parent Perspective with Anne Warfield: What Future Parents Need to Know

HPU mom Anne Warfield (center) is pictured with her husband Paul Cummings (back) and her two HPU students, CeAnna (left) and Michaela (right). 

College is a crucial time in a young adult’s life. What campus will be the best home for them? Who will be their mentor? How can they make the most of the next four years? While high school students must consider these questions when choosing the right university, HPU knows that parents are working alongside them, diligently searching for the same answers. 

Meet Anne Warfield of Eden Prairie, Minnesota. As a mother of two HPU students, junior CeAnna Cummings, an actuarial science major, and sophomore Michaela Cummings, a biology major, Anne and husband Paul Cummings have already noted a remarkable transformation in their daughters. Below, Anne reflects on her daughters’ HPU journeys thus far:


Q: How did your family discover and ultimately choose HPU?

A: We watched HPU over the years as it transformed into the campus it is today, and when CeAnna finally reached college age, we knew it was time to tour. That was all it took. She fell in love with it. We toured other private universities, and she had been dead set on going to college in California. What changed her mind was HPU. Everyone she met was supportive. The campus was state-of-the-art and student-focused. HPUdevelops the whole student with a forward-thinking, experiential learning model. She felt that HPU was designed for long-term success, not just for her college education. Michaela, our youngest, wanted to make her own mark and initially aimed to be different. We sent her down to be with CeAnna for a weekend. After her first day on campus, she told me, “I want to be here.” She connected instantly with the other students, and I think that speaks to the caliber of people attending HPU. In CeAnna’s residence hall, there are four sets of HPU siblings on just her floor. That showed me it’s common for one sibling to attend HPU, and the next sibling to be attracted to HPU’s quality education, too. It also showed me that HPU is attracting students with strong family values who see family as an asset. A university that attracts students with such values fosters a family atmosphere. Now, both my daughters see everyone at HPU as their family.

Q: What sets HPU apart from other colleges?

A: I believe we send our students to college so they can change the world. We want a kinder, gentler world where people appreciate and value one another. I don’t see college as a chance for my children to just learn academically. I assess a college based on who my child can become there. HPU addresses the whole student and not just the intellectual being. If we’re going to change the world, we need people who think bigger and want to grow and stretch. High Point University takes students through that transformational process.

Q: How have your daughters transformed during their time at HPU?

A: I’ve seen CeAnna magnify who she was in high school. She was very involved in school activities and in church. At HPU, she’s challenged herself to increase that level of involvement. The environment has inspired her to make the most of every opportunity. Today, she’s involved in religious life, and she tutors fellow students in math. She participated in a networking trip to New York City. These are a few examples of how HPU has instilled in her the confidence to step forward into who she’s going to be. For Michaela, I’ve watched her assert herself and embrace who she wants to be in just a short time on campus, not just because her sister is doing it, but because she feels inspired at HPU to set big, personal goals without doubts that she will achieve them. It’s beautiful to see.

Q: What do you tell parents and high school students who are considering HPU?

A: If you’re looking for a campus that will hold your student accountable and stretch them personally and intellectually, then HPU is the place for your family. You won’t find another university that emphasizes life skills. Other universities aren’t interested in who students are going to become outside of their campus. HPU wants to impact the world by creating extraordinary individuals, and if you come here, you’ll become one of those. It’s a much bigger goal and larger vision. We’ve visited a ton of different colleges, and I haven’t found one that’s in the same league of thinking. If you want to put your student in a university that’s going to invest in character, community and country, I don’t know of another university that does all of that.

Q: Tell us about an HPU experience or impactful moment for your family.

A. There are so many, but I can pick two. Both of our daughters participated in the Presidential Scholars Weekend, and it made a huge impact on our entire family. I was amazed at how HPU didn’t treat them as students. They were treated as business professionals. College is a big investment, and they were told to treat this investment as an opportunity to become the best version of themselves. I was blown away at how HPU immediately nudged them into adulthood. Then, there was move-in weekend. You don’t just drop your student off and leave. HPU made it a true transition by inviting our family in with wonderful events and softly seeing families out with a closing ceremony. That entire process wasn’t seen as a drop off, but a transition from one phase to the next.

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