Family Weekend Brings Mason Families Together

Posted: October 11, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Catherine Probst Ferraro

As Mason prepares for its seventh-annual Family Weekend, author Anthony Brandt’s quote, “Other things may change us, but we start and end with family,” may conjure up sentimental feelings in parents who sent their children off to start a new school year only seven weeks ago.

Mason’s Family Weekend program, with the theme “Great Families Make Mason,” welcomes all Mason families, including employees, to participate in a weekend of social activities such as movies, barbeques and Mason Madness, an event that ushers in the men’s and women’s basketball season.

At least 700 guests will check in to receive a detailed copy of the program schedule, meal tickets and a name tag, which grants admission to most of the weekend activities. Family Weekend starts Friday, Oct. 12, with check-in beginning at 11 a.m. in the Patriot’s Lounge of Student Union Building I.

Mason faculty and staff are also encouraged to participate in the Family Weekend program by completing the Count Me In reservation form that allows up to three family members to enjoy the activities. Employees who submit the form will receive free admission to activities such as the FunZone, Mason Family BBQ and Bake Off and the talent show, So You Think You Can Dance?

“We always want to encourage Mason employees to get involved because this is a great opportunity for them to get to know students and their parents,” says Lisa Snyder, assistant director in the Office of Orientation and Family Programs and Services. “Employees especially like family weekend because they are not required to work. They can bring their families and relax and enjoy the activities.”

After checking in, the Mason Military Outreach project and the Staff Senate will provide an opportunity for family and friends to write letters of support to military troops. The letters will be included in the care packages that the USO sends to members of the armed forces.

A weekend of athletics begins with the women’s soccer team battling it out against Delaware at 7 p.m. on Friday. Later that evening, Mason celebrates the first official practice of the men’s and women’s basketball teams with Mason Madness at 9 p.m. at the Patriot Center. Families and fans will be introduced to players and coaches from the teams. The Patriot cheerleaders and pep band, the Green Machine, will also perform.

While younger siblings enjoy carnival games, Playstation games and more with members of Mason student activities in the FunZone, family members who are at least 21 years old can participate in the Mason Family Wine Tasting. Families will learn more about featured wines and enjoy conversation with other Mason families and special guests, the Parent Donors.

One of the highlights of this year’s Family Weekend is a book presentation by author Myla Goldberg. Her short stories have appeared in several anthologies as well as in Harper’s and McSweeney’s. She will discuss her bestselling first novel titled “Bee Season,” and her newest novel titled “Wickett’s Remedy.”

Families will also have the opportunity throughout the weekend to chat with academic deans and professors at Mason’s own “Central Perk” (third floor in Student Union Building I). In addition, Provost Peter Stearns will talk about current initiatives at the university, including new programs, growth in research, global initiatives and construction projects. Afterwards, students and parents will have an opportunity to ask questions.

Families can end the festivities of Family Weekend with a “Bike the Sites” tour of Washington, D.C., on Sunday, Oct. 14. Bike the Sites tours combine history, interesting facts and a dynamic way to see the nation’s capital.

A complete list of activities taking place on the Fairfax and Prince William Campuses is available online.

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