Parents, alumni send off the class of 2023 to Creighton
Parents, alumni send off the class of 2023 to Creighton

Incoming freshmen and current students at the Omaha send-off party hosted by the Kotula family. 


This summer, Creighton parents hosted a series of send-off parties for the class of 2023 in more than a dozen cities, including Chicago, Kansas City, the Twin Cities and, of course, Omaha.  

The parties helped break ice and calm jitters, with parents, alumni and current students welcoming freshmen to the Creighton family.  

“The sendoffs are a wonderful way for new students and families to meet other Creighton families in their community,” said Judy Pritza, director of the Parent and Family Program with Alumni Relations and Donor Engagement. “It’s the beginning of many long-term relationships; it’s also a resource for parents to help their students succeed while away at Creighton.” 

The Omaha send-off was hosted by Rudy and Suzanne Kotula, the parents of Adam, BS’17, and Anna, class of 2023.   

“We’re so excited to host and so happy that everybody was able to come,” said Suzanne Kotula, BSN’85. “It’s such a great way to meet the students from Omaha. We also love the fact that Anna is going to Creighton.” 

About 30 current students attended the Omaha sendoff, along with their parents and other alumni. A handful of sophomores took the stage (i.e., patio steps) to share life advice they’d gleaned from their first year at Creighton. Topics ranged from the concrete (laundry, furniture placement) to the abstract (friendship, being openhearted).  

The panel’s consensus: “Keep your door open. Get to know the people on your floor.” 

Class of 2022 business student Emma Roth (pictured above) came to last year’s Omaha send-off as an incoming freshman and remembers how much the meet-up meant to her. Now she’s happy to share what she’s learned with the new class.  

“The send-off just gives you your first real student experience,” she said. “You get to know people, and it’s one less thing to worry about when you start at Creighton.” 

The send-offs are just as much for the parents as they are the students.  

Patricia Helke, BS’82, MD’86, MBA’00, is seeing off her daughter, Madeline Vovk, to Creighton this year. (Vovk will study premed like her mom.) The send-off party made that fact tangible.  

Another generation heads to Creighton. A legacy family begins.  

“I’ve always thought of Creighton as a family,” Helke said. “When I went to school, everybody knew each other, and everybody was so friendly and supportive. And Creighton hasn’t changed, not since I started my freshman year in 1978.” 


Have questions about the send-off parties? Interested in joining Creighton’s parent program? 

Learn more here. Or contact Judy K. Pritza, BSN’92, MS’96, director of the Parent and Family Program, at JudyPritza@creighton or 402.699.5191. Or contact Aurora Driscoll Barker, BA’11, associate director of Parent and Family Program, at AuroraDriscoll [at] creighton [dot] edu  or 402.280.5238.