Summary: Dear Parents and Guardians of the 2011 Entering Class of Black Students:
It is with sincere pleasure the staff of the Office of African-American Affairs (OAAA) and I welcome you to
the University of Virginia. We are excited you and your students are now a part of our wonderful community
and look forward to working with you during the next four years.
I want to make you aware of my office's many programs and services. Please refer to the enclosed the
publication, "The Office of African-American Affairs," briefly describing each. You can also log on to our
website at www.virginia.edu/oaaa to learn more about us!
One program, I want to make you immediately aware of is our nationally acclaimed Peer Advisor Program. It
is designed to assist first-year and entering transfer students with their transition to the University of Virginia.
My office assigns each entering student an upperclassman to serve as a resource throughout the academic year.
The Peer Advisor Program has greatly benefited our students since its establishment in 1984. I cannot help but
think it is one of the many factors contributing to the University's high African-American retention and
graduation rates. Your students will begin to receive letters from their Peer Advisor soon. I hope your student
will respond and take advantage of this excellent resource. Peer Advisors are eager to answer questions,
address concerns, share experiences and assist our entering students. They remember their first-year at the
University and know firsthand the transitional issues first-years and entering transfer students face.
My staff and I are not only interested in student retention and graduation rates, we are equally concerned about
students continuing to perform at high academic levels the same levels that resulted in their offer of
admission to the University of Virginia and to other institutions. I invite you to read the enclosure "From the
Mouths of Peer Advisors" providing tips for academic success at the University of Virginia. We have also