BY COURTNEY IRVING
When late August calls for the beginning of another year at the University of Mary Washington, students and parents alike tend to welcome the change. Freshmen prepare for the start of college life and upperclassmen look forward to returning to the campus community. At some point many college parents feel the urge to come visit their collegiate offspring.
Enter Family Weekend. This weekend, Sept. 19-21, marks a time where families are welcomed to campus and invited to catch a glimpse of what life is like here. Events are planned throughout the weekend that allow families to experience what goes on not only on campus, but throughout the Fredericksburg community.
Friday morning, parents are invited to trifle through the bookstore, check out the fitness center and view several art exhibitions to get an idea of the day-to-day student activities at UMW.
Later parents may visit the Multicultural Center. Several Multicultural student organizations will explain their groups and their most recent projects with campus. There will be a Study Abroad Fair, the many booths allowing students the opportunity to sell their parents on an overseas trip. That evening, parents are invited to come see the new recreational fields, go to the pool or gym, catch a movie sponsored by Cheap Seats or play a few Bingo games.
The busiest day for students and parents participating in Family Weekend is Saturday, where activities are planned to satisfy everyone and make the trip worthwhile for the parents braving traffic and gas prices. For sports fans and early risers, registration is available online for a 5K run at 7:30 a.m. The Rowing Team and Synchronized Swimming Club will provide demonstrations for the audiences, and soccer and rugby will play games that weekend. Even the intramural Dodgeball Team will hold a tournament over the weekend in the cage behind Jefferson Hall.
Throughout the day there will be lectures, walks and poetry readings led by some of the University’s top professors.
Besides giving parents a glance in to life on the Mary Washington campus, there will also be opportunities for them to experience the historical city of Fredericksburg. The department of historical preservation will be leading a Civil War walking tour around campus. Fredericksburg van tours will depart from campus periodically all day.
For transfer student Matt Rivers, the walking tour offers a chance to not only spend time with his family, but to see a little bit of the city as well.
“I haven’t had time to go around Fredericksburg yet,” Rivers said. “I’m planning on going on one of the tours with my mom and brother.”
Saturday night will offer a chance for everyone to relax and for students to show their families some of the things that Mary Washington students do for fun. There will be music and games on Ball circle and several groups from the music department will be showing off their talents.
Sunday features several more exhibitions and sporting events, but for most students the highlight will probably be the chance to show their parents the UMW tradition of Sunday Brunch at Seacobeck. The weekend is filled with excellent opportunities for students to give their parents a glimpse in to campus life.