All in the Family: Faculty and Staff Welcome at Family Weekend

Posted: October 2, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Leah Kerkman Fogarty

Beginning Friday, Oct. 17, Mason is making it a family affair. That’s when the office of Orientation and Family Programs and Services (OFPS) is hosting its eighth annual Family Weekend, three days of events and programming aimed at welcoming the parents and siblings of current Mason students.

But the fun isn’t limited to students and their families. Employees, along with their children and spouses, are encouraged to join in.

“For us, it is not just about external families — we’re talking about the Mason community and the Mason family, too,” says Katie Murray, assistant director for family programs and services. “We’ll provide a really family-friendly weekend, so we hope that faculty and staff will want to participate, too.”

All of the weekend’s activities — like screenings of “Kung Fu Panda,” a Mason Madness basketball kick-off celebration, and a barbecue and bake-off competition — are free to Mason faculty and staff, plus up to three guests, says Murray. Every guest beyond that will each cost $10 for access to all of the weekend’s events.

Once participants register in Johnson Center’s Dewberry Hall beginning on Friday at 11 a.m., there are myriad events to enjoy. On the South Plaza of the Johnson Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, the Staff Senate will host Taste of Fairfax. Area restaurants will hand out food and drinks while deans, professors and other staff members mingle with students and their families.

Jointly planned with the Mason Alumni Association and OFPS, the Mason Family Legacy Brunch and Welcome on Saturday morning will recognize alumni whose family members currently attend Mason, though faculty and staff are also welcome to be there, says Murray. The winners of the 2008 Family Weekend Essay Contest will also be announced.

On Saturday afternoon during the Mason Family Book Presentation, author John Bul Dau will read a selection from his memoir, “God Grew Tired of Us,” and speak about what families mean to him. As one of the Lost Boys of Sudan — a group of boys displaced during the Second Sudanese Civil War — Dau was separated from his family during the war in southern Sudan and spent time in refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya. In 2001, he immigrated to the United States.

Discount tickets are also available for faculty and staff to see comedian Lewis Black’s show at the Patriot Center on Saturday, Oct. 18, at 8 p.m. They can be purchased at the Patriot Center Box office. Faculty and staff tickets are $20 (up to two with a Mason ID).

Preregistration is required to participate in Family Weekend activities. You can register online by filling out the Count Me In form by Oct. 10.

Questions? Call 703-993-2475 or e-mail Additional information about Family Weekend, along with a full schedule of the weekend’s events, can also be found on the office’s web site.

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