The Office of Parent Relations was created in 1984 as a successor to the Parent's Program, both initiatives of the then Division of University Affairs. The primary function of the Office was to act as liaison to the Parents Association of the University at Albany, SUNY, and to respond to parental concerns regarding their children attending the University. The Parent's Program was overseen by the Office of University Affairs since the early 1970's. In order to inform parents of University programs and events, the Office of University Affairs, in 1973, began publishing a semi-annual newsletter called Focus. The newsletter was renamed The Parents' Newsletter in 1975 and issued three times a year. They contain articles on Parents Program activities and major University events. The Parents Program grew out of this early effort. It held regional Parents Nights and conducted Parents Weekend panels to inform parents about the University and to learn what their concerns were. In an effort to involve parents more directly in supporting the University, the 1978 Annual Fund provide a special opportunity for parents to designate their gifts for the Parents' Fund. In 1980, the University took more formal steps to organizing the parents by creating a Parents' Council, consisting of prominent parents of undergraduates.
To broaden undergraduate parent support for the University, President Vincent O'Leary, in 1982, announced the establishment of a Parents Association of the State University of New York at Albany. The Parents Association is also known as the University Parents Association. The Parents Association's formal purpose was facilitate communication with parents on matters of mutual concern, and "support the University in its efforts to enrich the educational environment for their sons and daughters." It never established a formal organizational structure consisting of by-laws and committees.
The Parents Council continued to provide leadership to the new association and to serve as a consultative body on matters of parents concern. The Association, whose annual dues were $25.00, grew from an initial membership of three hundred to over a thousand by 1989. The chair's of Parents Council served as chair's of the Parents Association. Dr. Sorrell E. Chesin, served as University liaison to and as a director of the Parents Association from its founding to its demise, first as Coodinator of Parents Program, and after 1984 as Director of the Office of Parent Relations.
The Office of Parent Relations and the Parents Association sponsored a variety of programs including the Hospitality Program, 1982-89, which encouraged parents to visit the university throughout the year by providing discounts to area motels hotels and restaurants; and the Career Advisement Program, also called the Career Advisement Network,, which supplemented the efforts of the University's Career Planning Program by inviting professional parents such lawyers, judges, doctors, dentists, and business people to assist students as they made preliminary career decisions. The Parents Association also sponsored numerous career planning forums for students in pre-med, 1987-89, accounting, 1985-87, business, 1985, 1987-88, and pre-law, 1984-88. The Parents Association was discontinued in the summer of 1989. The functions of the office were divided between the Division of University Advancement, and the Division of Student Affairs. Responsibility for the publication of For The Parent continued to reside in the Division of University Advancement, while responsibility for parent programs was transferred to the Division of Student Affairs.
Due to a reorganization of the Division of University Affairs in 1989 into the new Division of University Advancement, the Office of Parent Relations was discontinued, it's function being divided.
 For the Parent, 4 (Winter 1978), p. 1. "Proposed merger of the University Parents Association and the SUNYA Alumni Association," Sorrel E. Chesin, 1/8/88. For The Parent, 8 (Fall 1982), p. 3. "Background information on Parent Relations Program," 7/23/90.; For the Parent, 16 (Spring 1990), p. 6-7. For a general discussion of the background of the Office of Parent Relations and the Parents Association see Sorrell E. Chesin, "Background Information...."
The records of the Office of Parent Relations, 1982-89, consist primarily of program descriptions and proposals, photographs, newsletters, meeting programs, list of members and meeting attendees of the Parents Association of the University at Albany, SUNY. Also included is one folder of correspondence with parents concerning the Office's responsibility to act as liaison between the University and the parents of undergraduates. The photographs of parents meetings and forums often include the president of the university, Vincent O'Leary, and the director of the Office of Parent Relations, Sorrell Chesin.
The newsletters are an excellent source of information about Parents Program (the predecessor to the Office of Parent Relations), and about the goal and programs of the Parents Association.
The collection has no series.
These records were donated to the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries by M.E. Grenander, by Kenneth D. Mosher, Jr., Class of 1946.1998
Processed by: Akram G. Moller
Collection record created by: This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on
Published: 2018-03-06 05:03:44 -0500
EAD file created, 2014
Encoded in EAD by Gregory Wiedeman, 2016 January
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Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Office of Parent Relations Records, 1982-1989. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Office of Parent Relations Records).
|1||1||Parents Career Advisory Program - Includes a brief description of the program by Joanne Razzano Assistant Director of Parents Association and list of career advisors.||1986-1989|
|1||2||Parents Program - Includes background information, reports, development and discontinuances of the Program.||1986-1991|
|1||3||Parents Council Dinner Meetings - Includes date and place of meetings, assignment for parents and principal speakers.||1987-1988|
|1||5||Business Forum||1985, 1987-1988|
|1||6||Pre-Med Forum||1987, 1989|
|1||8||Publication - Focus||1973-1975|
|1||9||Publication - For the Parents||1975-1990|
|1||12||Parents Association Deposit - Includes Sorrel Chesin and Joane Razzano's correspondence with parents inviting them to the meetings and thanking them for helping with the forums, and lists of attendees for Parents Council Luncheons.||1986-1987|
|1||13||Photographs - Includes photos, negatives, contact prints, black and white and some color prints of Parents Council Meetings and Forums.||1982-1983, 1986-1989|