Parent Spotlight: Keith and Lina Lippiatt

picture of Keith, Lina, sister Indie and Alex Lippiatt (CWR’24) at Indie’s graduation

Name(s): Keith and Lina Lippiatt
Student: Alexander Lippiatt
Class Year: 2024
Hometown: Westlake Village, California

How do you connect with your student?

We usually text or speak with him every 2-3 days. Sometimes it’s just a “hi are you good” type of contact. Sometimes his older sister facetimes us and patches him on, giving us an opportunity to have a long and leisurely chat. During soccer season, we try to watch his team in person as often as we can. Post-game hugs are always special, whether they win or lose.

What resources have been helpful to you in supporting your student?

The Parents Leadership Council has really been helpful in making us aware of the available resources. We have attended information sessions on campus security, career planning, mental health, etc. We also benefit greatly from other parents who share their experiences. Collectively, the knowledge allows us to remind our son that there are resources he can tap into. As an athlete, he also has access to trainers and doctors who can help him prevent or treat an injury, so that resource helps ease our minds, too.

How do you support your student while they are on campus?

We try to be aware of his activities. “What do you have going this week?” is a question we ask often. Then as the week unfolds, we ask him how things went and just listen to him talk about them. During soccer season, we are in Cleveland a lot, so we cook him lunch and dinner for him to eat with us or take with him.

What were you pleasantly surprised about this past semester?

Believe it or not, we think CWRU athletics is in an upward swing! This past semester, both the soccer teams made playoffs, with the women team going all the way to the championship! Tennis and basketball have also been doing well. Their achievements are even more admirable, considering they also do well academically. On a more personal note, we were pleasantly surprised by our son’s success in securing internship interviews. When he decided to consider investment banking, we weren’t sure how many responses he would get from top firms, given the common perception of top firms hiring from feeder schools only. He did receive many responses, so we think the CWRU name is widely-associated with quality, even outside of the science fields.

What is your favorite part of Cleveland or CWRU?

The whole University Circle setup is appealing. The drive through the Rockefeller Park is always a pretty one, no matter the seasons. Then there is the Cleveland Museum of Art, a hidden gem considering the breadth of its collection. Not many people realize that it is considered one of the world’s prominent museums in Asian artifacts. The best University Circle experience to us, though, is watching CWRU students rushing through campus on their ways to classes. Lots of energy and hope there.

What advice do you have for parents about staying connected to CWRU?

There are many ways to stay connected: supporting student clubs during the annual Giving Tuesday, attending academic and art events, helping students find internships or jobs, etc. There are different commitment levels from time, effort, and financial perspectives, so pick one that feels right to you. Think of the school as your family: if there are issues, you want to help solve; if there are accomplishments, you want to feel proud.

How have you seen your student grow while at CWRU?

Definitely. We noticed the tremendous growth when he returned home the summer following his first year. Though he has always been a hard worker, prior to college he preferred to stay in the background and let others lead. Now, not only is he comfortable leading his peers in projects and the community-consulting club that he co-presidents, he tries to do a good job at leading. He also has grown from answering in a few words to elaborating on his thoughts and ideas, a skill that has helped him in internship interviews. We think the smallness of CWRU’s classes, especially those at Weatherhead, allows him to be noticed by professors and peers, increasing his self-esteem. A professor, for example, emailed him after the final exam to let him know that he was a pleasure to have in class. The supportive environment has allowed him to bloom. You know how as parents we always think our children have potential? To watch your child’s potential unfolding is truly a remarkable experience.