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The Bob Carpenter Center was the site for the Family Fest Tailgate on Oct. 14, 2017, during Parents and Family Weekend at the University of Delaware.
The Bob Carpenter Center was the site for the Family Fest Tailgate on Oct. 14, 2017, during Parents and Family Weekend at the University of Delaware.

Oct. 12-14: Parents and Family Weekend

Photo by Wenbo Fan

Tickets for headline events on sale Aug. 1

The University of Delaware community comes together each year for a weekend in celebration of all Blue Hen families — thousands of parents, grandparents, relatives and friends who support students in some aspect of their UD journey. The festive three-day program, called UD Parents and Family Weekend (PFW), is facilitated within the Division of Student Life and strategically planned 5-7 weeks into each fall semester. This year’s festivities are scheduled for Oct. 12-14.

“The beginning of each semester is a critical time in student development, and we know that thanks to growing research,” said Meaghan Davidson, assistant dean of students for parent and family engagement. “New students should spend their first month immersed in their new environment, and we’re working to make sure that healthy familial support can enhance their growth and wellbeing.”

Davidson collaboratively plans Parents and Family Weekend to cap off what is known in student affairs as the ‘red zone’, a higher risk period in each semester when students can benefit from familial engagement. Each year, all campus units are invited to host events that allow families to spend meaningful time with their students as well as get to know the administrators that support their success.

The 2018 celebration will bring back annual favorites such as the Friday night comedy show, this year featuring Jeff Foxworthy, and the Saturday Game Day Celebration formerly known as the Family Fest Tailgate includes food, games, giveaways and fun leading up to the Blue Hen football game. Many events are free, though interested participants should register on the website to receive program updates and details. Some headline events, such as the game day celebration and comedy show, require tickets that will be available for purchase online starting Aug. 1. New additions to the program include open houses and receptions throughout the Newark campus, including one at the Biden Institute. For the first time, Morris Library will also be hosting an exclusive murder mystery dinner.

“Parents and Family Weekend allows families to experience on a smaller level the campus community, and all that there is to do at UD, in a way that not all other schools offer,” said Mike Lehner, Parent and Family Leadership Council member and past PFW attendee. Lehner’s favorite experiences include the football festivities on Saturday, as well as simply walking around campus. “We were awestruck by how beautiful The Green is,” he said.

Whether attendees spend their time participating in activities, getting to know their student’s professors or mentors, or exploring what life is like at UD, Parents and Family Weekend is an excellent opportunity for families to connect with their campus community and enjoy meaningful engagement with campus support networks.

“Parents and Family Weekend was conceived to let parents and guests reconnect with their students after their introduction to UD,” Davidson said. “But it also helps parents and guests learn more about the community and environment that will shape their student for years to come. For many who attend the event, this is their first and only child at UD or in any other college. That makes this a great opportunity for faculty and staff to showcase why the University of Delaware is an outstanding investment in their student’s future.”

Attendees interested in ticketed events or overnight accommodations are encouraged to purchase them early, as opportunities do sell out. All program details and ticket information can be found on the Parents and Family Weekend website.

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