Melinda “Mom” Rose is not your average mom — she’s a cool mom. Some would even say that while Mom Rose has three biological sons, she gained 46 more sons in the past year.
Mom Rose began her journey as a house mom almost eight years ago when she was still teaching in Lyons, Kansas, and the opportunity to become a fraternity house mom arose.
“I was a teacher and also had to have another job, so I worked at a deli,” Rose said. “One of my previous students and a member of Theta Xi came up to me at the deli and said that they were losing their house mom, and he said, ‘I think you would make a great one, would you like to do it?’ And right then I said yes, total luck.”
After interviewing for the position, Mom Rose got the job and now is entering her eighth year at Theta Xi. Rose’s son was a member of the fraternity in the late 90s, and she said she loved seeing her son grow through his fraternity and now enjoys seeing these young men do the same. As a mother of three, Rose tries to provide a sense of a maternal figure in the house while also keeping in touch with the members’ mothers as well.
“You know one of the coolest things ever?” Rose said. “When my son was here, there weren’t good phones, but now we do. Now I take pictures all the time and send them to their moms, all the time. That’s one of the things the moms love best. You know, I do it because I would have liked it back in the day.”
Mom Rose says one of her favorite parts of the job is meeting the students’ families, getting to know the men and seeing them enter into the real world after college. Forming the connection between the men as they grow during their time in college and post-college is one of her favorite parts of her job, especially knowing she had a tiny part in their lives, she said.
Braden Fain, junior in accounting and finance and member of Theta Xi, said Mom Rose provides good leadership, but also a feeling of home.
“Mom Rose is always around and always is someone to talk to about whatever is going on,” Fain said. “Especially when you’re away from home, she provides a home feel and someone to talk to.”
Fain wasn’t the only one who felt that Mom Rose was more than just a fraternity house mom. Max Meyer, junior in chemical engineering, said Mom Rose was crucial to the house.
“She offers a good maternal influence around the house,” Meyer said. “Even though we are young adults, we sometimes need that mom influence at times.”
Although it may seem like only the members have grown from having Mom Rose, she said she too has grown so much from this experience and is a changed woman.
“I am a much better person because of my guys,” Rose said. “When you’re a mom and a teacher and all that, you talk too much, but one of the most important things is that I don’t talk too much with them, I listen. I am a way better person now because they taught me not to be ready to say the next thing but to listen first.”