JACKSON, Tenn. – Oct. 7, 2009– Union University welcomed more than 500 student family members to Jackson for Family Weekend Oct. 2-3, a time of activities and events that showcase daily campus life.
Although there were a number of events planned for families, free time is also reserved for families and students to spend together.
“I think a lot of the weekend is stuff that we don’t do,” said Joy Moore, director of student programs at Union. “It’s just that we coordinate the opportunity to come.”
Rachel Endel, a sophomore math major, invited her mother, Sarah Endel, from Minnesota for the weekend.
“Most of the time people would be freaking out because they have to study while their family is here,” Endel said. “But for me it’s a positive because my mom is a math teacher, so I can ask her questions about my Calculus III homework and she actually knows what’s going on.”
Endel’s mom said she usually talks to Rachel by e-mail or Skype when they work on homework, but this weekend it was refreshing to be with her in person.
“It’s different when you go to college,” Rachel said. “Things change and your time alone with one of your parents is really important.”
Mark Krinsky, from Cleveland, Ohio, came in for the weekend to see his daughter, Elsie Krinsky, a freshman nursing major.
“I like the fact that now I know where (she) lives, and I can picture her room and I know where she goes to class. I know the campus,” Krinsky said. “That was the exciting part for me.”
The weekend was organized for activity but most of the parents wanted to meet the roommates and friends on their own time.
“It was about seeing their life here and what it’s like to be in the college scene at Union,” Moore said
Sarah Endel said the weekend was a good experience.
“I enjoyed getting to see what her world is like and meeting people she talks about,” Endel said about her daughter.
“When I am calling home or showing pictures they actually mean something because she can be like, ‘Oh yeah. I met these people.’” Rachel said.
Dinner in the Carl Grant Events Center on Friday evening included a welcome from Kimberly Thornbury, Union's dean of students, and a musical presentation from the student vocal group Proclamation. Later, students were given the opportunity to attend Open Mic Night in Barefoots Joe, play games in the McAfee Commons and go bowling as a sibling outing. The night ended with a sibling sleepover.
Saturday, the annual President’s Brunch with President David S. Dockery was once again a highlight of the weekend, Moore said. Intramurals, Chi Omega’s Make-A-Wish BBQ Plate Fundraiser and a family swim time were also activities available throughout the day.
The night ended with the annual Sigma Alpha Iota All Sing. The overall winners for the small groups and large groups were the ladies of Chi Omega.
“It was a tremendous experience and I’m glad I attended,” Krinsky said. “The best part is that she is thrilled. She likes college. She likes her roommates. She likes everything about it. That, of course, makes me happy.”
By Megan Thompson (’12)