Get Involved

The Webster University Family Association aspires to include undergraduate students’ parents and families in the life of the University. Recognizing the important role families play in the success of their children's college experience, an engaged family makes for an engaged student.

Webster University Family Association

Engaged families, successful students.

Founded in 2008, the Family Association is part of the Office of First-Year Experience and Family Programs in the division of Student Affairs.

The mission of the Office of First-Year Experience and Family Programs is to provide resources, services and programs that promote student success for first-year students and family members of undergraduate students.

Office of First-Year Experience and Family Programs Contact Information

William (Billy) Ratz, '02, MA '06

Director, First-Year Experience and Family Programs

Phone: 314-968-7007


Big W Student Photo

Webster Family Connection webpage on desktop, tablet, and phone

Webster Family Connection

Webster Family Connection webpage on desktop, tablet, and phone

Did you know? Parents and family can connect with our community so we can provide you with the information you need about Webster, financial aid, academics, and more. You can keep Webster updated with your current contact information and register for upcoming family events!

Connect your family at:

Additional Information for Parents and Families

The Webster University Family Association maintains a private Facebook group. This is a group for Webster families by Webster families. Please be aware that Webster staff will have a very limited presence in this group and only during office hours. This is not a venue for communicating with Webster staff. Contact staff via their Webster email and/or phone for direct communication. You can always contact the Office of First Year Experience and Family Programs at 314-968-7007 or

Recognizing the important role parents play in the success of their children's college experience, the Webster University Family Advisory Board has been created to establish a formal channel of communication between the parent community and the University.

The Family Advisory Board gives voice to parents and provides an opportunity for Webster University to share important information on curriculum, study abroad opportunities, student life, financial aid, capital improvements, athletics and programmatic news from deans and faculty. The Family Advisory Board plays an integral role in the University, and specifically, serves as a vital resource to Parent Association planning and execution.

Members of the Family Advisory Board have access to the University's leadership and are a communications conduit for the parent community at large. In developing a strong, two-way channel of communication between Webster and the parent community, the University strives toward providing each of its students with the very best college experience possible and as a consequence delivering high parental satisfaction.

Working with Webster's Office of First Year Experience and Family Programs (FYE-FP), the Family Advisory Board has two main goals.

  • New Student Recruitment (increasing new student applications, converting admitted students to enrolled students and ensuring enrolled students attend.)
  • Student Retention and Persistence (student life, co-curricular and extra-curricular students, parental peer-to-peer involvement to support persistence.

The Family Advisory Board consists of a chair or co-chairs and a board of up to 20 families of current undergraduate Webster University students. Family Advisory Board members serve at the invitation of the director of First Year Experience and Family Programs.

The Family Advisory Board meets twice a year on the Webster Groves campus of Webster University for planning purposes. Logistical support is provided by FYE-FP staff. Committee meetings are also held throughout the academic year.

The chair(s) of the Family Advisory Board exhibits strong support for the board's goals through engagement with campus activities. The chair(s) provides leadership to the board, and are representatives of the parent community. Family Advisory Board chair(s) are appointed by the director of First Year Experience and Family Programs.

  • Serve as a member of the Family Advisory Board for the duration of your student's enrollment at Webster.
  • Attend and participate in two board meetings on campus, per year.
  • The fall meeting is held in August/September and the spring meeting is in February/March.
  • Attend monthly committee meetings, as assigned.
  • Learn about Webster, its mission, programs, and activities.
  • Learn about the Webster Family Association, its mission, membership, and activities.
  • Participate in Webster Family events to the best of your ability.
  • If on Facebook, participate with the Family Association Facebook group.
  • Be responsive to the director of First-Year Experience and Family Programs for requests, such as meeting invitations, and inform the office of any updates for your contact information, etc.
  • Be a positive advocate for Webster, and serve as a resource for families in your geographic area.

  • Yvonne and Ron Buhlinger
  • Tina and Paul Calabrese
  • Debbie Diveney
  • Shelia and Carl Huff
  • Angela and Scott Hutson
  • Maxine and Dan Retzer (chairs)
  • Wauneen and LaVance Rucker
  • Carrie and Brian Schildroth
  • Joey Timmer

Thank you for encouraging your student to become a college graduate.

Tips for Parents/Family Members of First-Generation Students

  • Attend Parent and Family Orientation to become knowledgeable about the resources/services available to your student since parent/family support is key to the academic success of college students.
  • Attend Spirit Weekend in February.
  • Remind your students to make copies of all important paperwork and to make sure to write down the name, department, date and comments of the person they are speaking to when they contact different units on campus with questions.
  • Remember that pursuing higher education does not mean that students will lose the values they were raised with.
  • Your student may not be able to come home every weekend if they are living on campus — even if it is only 5 or 10 miles away. If they are living at home, they may not have the same amount of time to devote to family responsibilities as they did before.
  • Learn about the college process and what to expect — by learning about campus resources you will be able to become more familiar with what your student is experiencing.
  • Be patient with yourselves and one another, especially since this is a learning experience for everyone (both you and your student) — you will all be learning about this transition process together.

What some of our current first-generation college students at Webster wish their parents would know:

  • The pressure and stress that often comes with being in college.
  • To support me and try their best to understand what I am experiencing.
  • It is important for parents to understand how hard college is and that the student will be under stress. The family should be supportive.
  • At times, students may feel overwhelmed, and parents can be right there to provide support by offering words of encouragement. This goes a long way knowing that you believe in us!

Parents with students during spirit week.

Stay Involved

Parents with students during spirit week.

The Family Association hosts a variety of events during the academic year.

  • Family Weekend is offered to bring parents and family members back to campus to visit their student during the spring semester.
  • Family Orientations (GROW) are held throughout the summer.
  • Other events that focus on life at the University are made available to parents and families as well.

Hotels and motels are different kinds of temporary accommodation and vary based on amenities and price.


Hotels are rated based on a 5-star system: one star is the lowest rating and five stars is the highest. Check on websites like Trip Advisor, Expedia, and many other for recent ratings, user reviews and current pricing. Sometimes rates are more affordable when booked in advance online, rather than calling the hotel directly. To book online, you will need to use a major credit card.

IMPORTANT: Hotel rates are subject to change depending on the time of year, number of rooms available and special events in the community. Check online and contact the hotel for room availability in advance.

SpringHill Suites St. Louis Brentwood

1231 Strassner Dr.
Brentwood, MO 63144
Approximately 2.79 miles from main campus (public transportation accessible)

Drury Inn-Brentwood

8700 Eager Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63144
3.9 miles from main campus

Best Western-Kirkwood Inn

1200 S. Kirkwood Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63122 (Intersection of I-44 and Highway 67)
Approximately 4 miles from main campus
314-821-3950 or 1-800-435-4656

Holiday Inn – SW Route 66

10709 Watson Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63127 (Near I-44 and Highway 67)
4 miles from main campus
314-821-6600 or 1-800-972-3145

Cheshire Inn and Lodge

6300 Clayton Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63139
Approximately 5 miles from the main campus

Drury Inn at Forest Park

2111 Sulphur Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63139
Approximately 5 miles from main campus

Forest Park Hotel

5915 Wilson Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110 (Intersection of I-44 and Hampton)
5.3 miles from main campus

Red Roof Plus St. Louis-Forest Park/Hampton Avenue, St. Louis

5823 Wilson Ave.
St. Louis, MO, 63110 (Near intersection of I-44 and Hampton)
5.3 miles from main campus

Drury Inn-Union Station

201 S. 20th St.
St. Louis, MO 63103 (Intersection of 20th and Market Street in downtown St. Louis)
10 miles from main campus
314-231-3900 or 1-800-378-7946


Motels are different than hotels, usually offering limited amenities at a discounted rate. Prices may be more affordable, but amenities are limited. Motels may have rooms facing a central parking lot, i.e. the term “motor lodge” is the origin of the term “motel” with doors opening to the parking lot rather that within an enclosed building. Motels are not rated on the five-star scale that hotels use and reviews are not always available. Keep in mind you usually get what you pay for and motels usually offer fewer services and employ fewer staff than hotels.

Duplex Motel

7898 Watson Rd.
Webster Groves, MO 63119
Distance from Campus: 1.8 miles

Chippewa Motel

7880 Watson Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63119
Distance from campus: 1.8 miles

Wayside Motel

7800 Watson Rd.
Marlborough, MO 63119
Distance from campus: 1.8 miles

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Founded in 1915, Webster University is committed to ensuring high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence. Prepare for your next step and explore our community resources.

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