Family Weekend at Penn: Celebrating a Lifelong Bond
October 31, 2011
For most students, the personal decision to attend college -- and the choice to come to Penn -- is one that they make together with their families. Every autumn, we celebrate the bond between our young scholars, their families, and the University with a fine Penn tradition: Family Weekend.
This year’s Family Weekend (October 28-30) saw a campus full of smiling faces, laughter, and warm embraces -- despite the unseasonable arrival of snow before the trees had shed their autumn leaves. The programming presented parents of current students with a variety of opportunities to come inside the University and get to know, firsthand, the many facets of the community we call Penn -- its rich academic and social life. Throughout the festivities one overarching theme prevailed: families are a crucial part of that Penn community, today and tomorrow.
President Amy Gutmann formally kicked off the Weekend on Friday evening with a presentation in front of a packed, expectant crowd at Irvine Auditorium, assuring parents that their children were in good hands at Penn, uniquely positioned to thrive both academically and socially in the University’s richly diverse and interdisciplinary environment. Dr. Gutmann spoke about Penn’s formula for success — a combination of deep passion and high purpose. “My commitment to you, my fellow parents,” she said, “is that we will do everything possible at Penn to help your sons and daughters fuel their passions and purpose.” She also shared her vision for the future of the University, describing plans for its continued growth and development as a premier institution for education, research, and practice.
Family Weekend events covered a broad range of activities, giving parents a glimpse into all that Penn has to offer. From the chance to attend classes with their sons and daughters at Wharton, Engineering, and Nursing to programs hosted by CAPS, Weingarten Learning Resources Center, Student Financial Services, Career Services, the Weigle Information Commons, and Public Safety, there were plenty of ways to become better acquainted with the University.
There were also plenty of opportunities to see student work – their research and videos – as well as to enjoy their talents as performing artists, and to appreciate the variety and energy of student life. The events generated a buzz of enthusiasm as attendees discovered ways to become more engaged and involved with the Penn community, and with the University’s mission.
Whether it’s taking advantage of the many opportunities Penn has for parents to become actively engaged, or simply understanding and encouraging their children to utilize the multitude of resources on campus, the support and backing of family helps to create the ultimate Quaker experience for students. Parents can volunteer by raising awareness for the University, providing counsel to administration and President Gutmann, and hosting events aimed toward advancing the core goals of Penn’s ongoing Making History Campaign.
For more information on becoming involved as Proud Penn Parents, please contact Kris Davitt, Assistant Vice President for Development and Undergraduate Programs, at 215.898.7924.
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