Stanford’s annual Family Weekend, an event that aims to give families a chance to experience undergraduate life, kicks off on Friday morning. The two-day event consists of a variety of activities including information sessions, community open houses, faculty lectures and campus tours. Stanford expects approximately 4,000 visitors to attend.
This is the second year Family Weekend has run under its current title, after being referred to as “Parents’ Weekend” before the 2016-17 academic year. Following a welcome address hosted by Provost Persis Drell, attendees are invited to a conversation with President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and to one or more of four panel discussions targeted toward the relatives of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors, respectively.
Other events include the Resource Fair, where representatives of different campus departments will promote their services, and “Back to School Classes,” which are hour-long lectures on various topics. The University will also host guided tours focused on the 1906 earthquake and the new Anderson Collection art museum.
Several campus dining halls will provide complimentary Friday lunch and Saturday brunch to visitors carrying Family Weekend name badges. Residence halls will also host receptions during which students’ relatives can meet with Resident Fellows and Resident Assistants.
Not all events are free, however – the “Entertainment Extravaganza!” held Saturday afternoon will charge $22 per adult and $10 per child or Stanford student for families that may already be footing expensive bills, including travel expenses, hotel reservations and other costs related to attending Family Weekend. All proceeds from the show will go toward the Parents’ Club Scholarship Fund, which uses the money to provide full-tuition scholarships for students.
The show will feature six campus ensembles: Alliance Streetdance, Cardinal Calypso, Kaorihiva, Raagapella, Stanford Light Opera Company and Swingtime. Despite this and other organized events, Remi Akindele ’21 wrote in a message to The Daily that she is planning to spend the weekend showing her parents and siblings around campus herself.
“At first, I thought my parents were way too enthusiastic about [Family Weekend], but now, in the thick of winter quarter stress, all I want is to just have some good wholesome family time away from everything else,” Akindele wrote.
Stanford had 7,032 matriculated undergraduate students as of fall 2016, so with only 4,000 family visitors there are bound to be faces missing from the crowd. Jenna Mayer ’21 wrote in a message to The Daily that she is fortunate to see her mom but feels bad for friends whose families cannot visit. She, like Akindele, did not express interest in University-hosted events.
“I’m looking forward to spending as much time off campus with my mom as possible,” Mayer wrote.
Contact Holden Foreman at hs4man21 ‘at’ stanford.edu.