2015 Wofford Alumni couple on lawn in front of Old Main

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Q&A with Prema Samhat

 Prema and President Samhat

Q: What’s the first year as the First Lady of Wofford been like?

A: Our first year has been a wonderful introduction to our life at Wofford.  I really did not have any pre-conceived notions, all I knew was that we were extremely pleased and excited to have the opportunity to be here.  

I have found everyone to be very warm, sincere and welcoming. The Wofford community has an immense love and affection for the college and that has made for an even easier transition to our new life here.  Of course, the year included travelling to meet alumni, Wofford parents and prospective students, and also hosting events on campus and in the president’s home.   It has really been an amazing and fun year, though it seems to have flown by!

I really love living on campus amidst such beautiful park-like surroundings.  I grew up on a college campus and it feels great to be back surrounded by students and activity all day.  Frankly, I don’t like it when there’s a break and the campus empties out, it is too quiet! 

Q: As the mother of three college age or older daughters, what advice do you have for parents for handling the summertime with their college student?

A: It is an adjustment for all concerned to be back at home when kids have been away at college!  We really stressed the importance of working, volunteering or doing an internship during the summer.  It is good to be busy.  The other hard part was setting boundaries once again – during the summer break I would always wait up for them when they went out (very tiring), even though I didn’t know what time they were coming back to their dorm when they were at college!  So we had to set time limits which was not a popular discussion in our house!

Q: As incoming freshmen parents begin to prepare their journey, what words would you share with them?

  • On the practical side, don’t overpack!  Our three daughters took more clothes, shoes and room accessories than they ever needed.  Be prepared to bring things back! 
  • Your incoming freshman is excited and nervous about their new life, be patient and relaxed.  Enjoy your time with them on the ride to drop them off.
  • Enjoy the days and weeks together before you set off for the drop off.
  • Leave it to your child to set a schedule for staying in touch.   Send them texts to stay in touch, but understand they may or may not respond.  You can request a minimum standard.
  • Keep goodbye time short – it's easier on everyone’s emotions!  
  • Help them manage their budget and spending money.
  • If you are dropping off your child, and are feeling maudlin, try and keep tear time to a minimum (cry later in the car!), it is easier on the student.

Q: In your short time here, where are your favorite places in town to eat and shop?

A: Since 1996 this is the first time we have lived in an area the size of Spartanburg, meaning this is the largest city we have lived in!  We love the access to restaurants and shops all around us and we are still trying them out.  Access to Thai spots has been a great perk.  There’s something for every taste within walking distance of the college from great salad and sandwich spots like Cribb’s and Groucho’s to fine Italian to innovative fusion food right in downtown!

As for the shopping, we love the range of shopping available here from specialized boutiques to bargain spots.  Who doesn’t love a bargain?  The downtown area has some very nice shopping options and I encourage folks to park at one end and browse around to the other end, and stop at one of the eating spots along the way if you get hungry!  There are many shopping pods on the east and west side of town and I am still discovering them.

Q: What has struck you most during the past year in your interactions with Wofford people (students, faculty, staff, alums, parents)?

A: This may sound oversimplified, but I have to say the one trait that both Nayef and I have noticed is that everyone is very nice.  It can be an undervalued trait, but it is the foundation for everything else.  Living on campus we encounter so many people at different times of the day and all our interactions are pleasant and friendly….. the students, in particular, are very respectful.  Some even offer to help me unload groceries from my car!  Now, that’s VERY nice. Our dog has become a rock star on campus, and she loves all the attention she gets from the students!