Kathy and Lou Esposito of Andover, New Jersey, are the parents of four High Point University students. Their oldest, Nick, has not only attended HPU for his undergraduate, but also two master’s degrees. Then, there’s Ruby, a Class of 2021 nonprofit management and education studies double major; Cosmo, a Class of 2024 business major; and Mac, a soon-to-be HPU freshman with the Class of 2025.
As an experienced parent, Kathy Esposito shares an inside look at her family’s HPU journey in this Q&A. Here’s a look at what future HPU parents need to know:
How did you discover and choose HPU?
An acquaintance in New Jersey had a daughter attending HPU, and he told us how she was loving the school and how HPU was preparing her for the world. Nick, our oldest, was a high school senior at the time, so we did some research and registered to attend an HPU Open House. While Nick was the only high school senior, all of our kids are close enough in age that we decided to bring the entire family . That weekend, our family’s love for HPU began. During that visit, we could see and hear the attention to detail on campus and the emphasis that was placed on teaching real-life lessons in not just the classroom, but also through the way they live on campus. As parents, we felt that HPU was the perfect place for students to grow – lots of space for independence in the transition to adulthood, but with caring oversight and accountability from faculty and staff to ensure they don’t get lost or miss out on opportunities along the way.
What do you tell parents and high school students who are considering HPU?
We are loud and proud HPU parents. My friends often refer me to other soon-to-be college parents because it’s well known that my children attend HPU. I’ll tell you what I always tell them: Go visit. It’s my biggest piece of advice. Afterward, honestly compare it to the other places you visit. You will see it. You will feel it. HPU by far exceeds any expectation you could see or want for your child.
What sets HPU apart from other universities?
Many things. But, I’ll focus on just a couple. Values played a big role in our decision. We raised our students with good morals, and to see a higher education institution carry on and encourage those values removes a fear I’m sure many parents have when thinking of college. So often you hear of higher education deconstructing students and undoing the work their parents have put in. That’s not the case with HPU.
The campus environment is another. Classes are just the right size – big enough to include a variety of students and perspectives, but small enough that faculty can truly give students attention. Not to mention the personal success coaches who are essential to propelling students forward into who they’re meant to become. Then there are the facilities, grounds and all the detail that goes into keeping them state-of-the-art. The environment teaches students to take pride in their surroundings. The campus is beautiful, but it’s instilled in the students to keep it that way. It teaches them to strive for greatness in everything else they do: their work, the way they treat others, the kind of person they become. The environment at HPU sets the standard and instills a great lesson for how they treat their workplace and their home in the future.
How has HPU impacted your children?
Independence is the biggest word that jumps out in my head. They have become independent and accountable for their own journey. HPU has the resources they need, but the campus culture has instilled the initiative in them to make the most of those resources. It’s so heartwarming to hear them talk about their projects, their goals and their planning and then watch them be successful.
What’s a favorite HPU campus memory for your family?
Move-in weekend and Convocation. At the conclusion of Convocation, the official welcome to campus, students are given a blanket they’re supposed to share with a person who’s impacted their life. I got all four blankets from my kids and each one means the world to me. That hour-long ceremony where we say goodbye on the lawn is so special. It’s a time for students and parents to both reflect on the opportunities ahead. While bittersweet, it’s a great final way to depart campus at the end of an exciting weekend.