Dear Parents,

My name is Catherine Walker and I recently joined the Dean of Students' office to partner with parents of Mississippi State University students.  My family and I relocated to the Starkville area almost three years ago, but my connection to MSU can be traced all the way back to my roots.  My parents were raised in the Delta and my father played football at State in the 60's.  I have known the sound of a cowbell ringing all of my life and it fills my heart with pride to be a part of this university.  The transition to the position of Director of Parent Services has been exciting and I look forward to this new adventure.

I am your advocate and your resource, so please contact me anytime.  As part of the Office of Parent Services, I am committed to working with each of you.  I would really enjoy hearing from you, even if it is just to make a connection.  Your suggestions on how I can serve you will be much appreciated.

That being said, finals will be over in a few days and your student may be headed home for a holiday visit.  Are you prepared for a few pieces of dirty laundry?  Try kicking the holidays off by surprising your student with a "home cooked" favorite meal, it will surely mean a lot.  Be sure not to comment about the extra pound or two (or ten) -students sometimes gain around ten pounds during their first semester.  Lastly, expect some changes and be flexible, it quite possibly will be a transition period for all involved. 

Please call or email me (662.325.3611/ with any questions or concerns. If you need to reach me over the holidays it may be best to try my cellphone (662.418.2441).  MSU will be closed for the winter break beginning December 20 and offices will re-open on January 3. 

I hope you have a safe and happy holiday with your student!

Catherine Walker, Office of Parent Services

Off-Campus Housing Site Announcement

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new website for off-campus housing resources to connect students, parents, faculty and staff with local property owners and managers.  In addition to rental properties, features include message boards where students can search/post to find a roommate, buy/sell furniture and more.

It is not too early to start planning for next year.  Check out our new site and let me know if you have any questions.

Campus Housing Update

Residence halls will be closed for Winter Holidays beginning at 6 p.m. on Saturday, December 11th and will re-open on Monday, January 3rd at 2 p.m.  Students that plan to remain on campus over the holidays must sign-up for break housing via the website.   The cost for break housing will be $345.

Students who are assigned to the exact same room for the spring semester DO NOT have to move their belongings out of the room for the winter break.  However, they should take home valuables and any other items that they may need during the break as they will not have access to their room until the halls re-open on January 3rd at 2 pm.

Since the residence halls will close December 11th at 6:00 pm, we ask that the residents assist us in the following tasks:

· Turn off lights
· Unplug appliances
· Empty trash cans
· Remove food from room, including perishables in refrigerators
· Disable alarm clock
· Turn off radios and TV's
· Take home pet fish or plants
· Close all windows and blinds
· Set bedroom air conditioner units to the lowest heat setting

Students who are not returning to MSU in the spring semester must schedule a check-out time with an RA to have his/her room inspected and cleared prior to departing.  The student must return any residence hall keys issued at the time of check-out.

Closing information and instructions have been posted on bulletin boards in the residence halls since the week after the Thanksgiving Holidays.

Q & A...