Dinner at the President’s house is a special tradition


Alyssa Donnelly, Assistant News Editor

Over the past 22 years of his service, Buena Vista University President Fred Moore, has gotten the opportunity to make BVU different in his own ways. One of those many ways is that every year, new students are invited to participate in a Presidential Dinner with Moore and his wife, Susan. These dinners give students the chance to meet one-on-one with the Moore family.

Not only do the students spend time with the university President, they also get the chance to be in his home. The Moore’s volunteer their home to host the dinners and engage in conversation with the students. The transition to college can be difficult for some, and these special dinners help students understand they can feel at home and comfortable at BVU.

First year student Zach Andrews had a positive experience in meeting President Moore this year.

“We get to meet the President more in depth, and meet others we may not have seen so far,” he said.

Andrews enjoyed the experience at the Moore’s house and was thankful to be given the opportunity to be in the home of somebody with high authority on campus.

Another first year student, Ethan McHenry liked that the Moore’s have created this tradition for new students so they get to know him and feel right at home.

“It’s a pretty big tradition and everything,” McHenry said. “It’s important just getting everyone familiar with him so it’s not awkward when you first meet him. Plus, you get to meet other kids who go to BV.”

This year’s group of new students are part of a special experience because they will be the last class to meet President Moore in this way. Moore has announced that he will leave BVU after this academic year. It’s unclear if the new president will carry on this tradition, but it certainly won’t be the same without the Moore’s.

“The freshman dinners have been one of the highlights of the job,” Moore said. “Over the years, there have been instances where students are struggling with something, homesick, or having a hard time adjusting to college, and in some limited situations we’ve been able to provide a presence for them, and that is very rewarding for us.”

Moore said he and Susan have enjoyed the dinners as much as the students have, and he shared where the idea for the simple tradition came from.

“Before I came to BV, I was a VP at North Carolina Wesleyan. The President there, who ended up being the President at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, did these dinners [with his wife], and I thought this was a great idea. It was another small school, so they could do it. When we came to BV we just started them up,” Moore said.

While the dinners may affect students in different ways, Moore hopes that all who attend do get one important message.

“What I would like to leave the students with this year is to let them know that as they’re first getting started into college, that the person at the top cares about them,” Moore said, “by wanting to meet, spend time, and learn more about them, to help in whatever way we can to get them off to a good start.”

Image by: Alyssa Donnelly