University Park prepares for Parents and Families Weekend

September 13, 2011

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Each year, thousands of parents and families of students travel to University Park to experience life on campus during Parents and Families Weekend. This year, Parents and Families Weekend is to be held Sept. 16-18 at the University Park campus.

Through the years, Parents and Families Weekend has been a large collaboration between numerous offices, departments and organizations across campus. Since the inception of the Penn State Parents Program in 2010, that office has assumed responsibility for the overall coordination of this longstanding campus tradition.

“Our primary goal is for Penn State to foster a stronger connection with the families of our undergraduate students,” said Jennifer Mallen, Parents Program director. “A primary tenet of the Parents Program is to partner with parents and family members for student success. Parents and Families Weekend is one way we further this partnership by opening the campus for parents and families to explore.”

This year, Parents and Families Weekend will hold about 80 events and expects to welcome more than 9,000 preregistered parents and family members, the total as of Monday, Sept. 12.

The weekend is filled with a large variety of events for students and their families to enjoy. Event highlights include the President’s Open House, Family Pictures at the Nittany Lion Shrine, Student Talent Showcase, Lion Ambassador Bell Tower Tour, Penn State’s Signature “Sunday Brunch” in the Dining Commons and various home sporting events. In addition, there are numerous college and student services open house events and a variety of information sessions spanning topics from housing to study abroad to fraternity and sorority life and many more. A list of events including times and locations can be found at online.

One of Parents and Families Weekend’s most popular events each year is the reservation-only Football TV Game-Watching Tailgate Party hosted by the Penn State Alumni Association. This year, the Penn State vs. Temple party will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Nittany Lion Inn Ballroom with a sold-out crowd. However, because its overwhelming popularity and early sold-out status, the Parents Program has arranged an additional viewing option. Now students and families also can watch the game together from noon to 3:30 p.m. in the HUB-Robeson Center.

Aside from events and activities, the goal of Parents and Families Weekend is to provide an opportunity for parents, siblings and other family members to visit their Penn State student, Mallen said.

“For families of our first-year, transfer and change-of-campus students, Parents and Families Weekend serves as a time of reconnection and an opportunity to see how students are adjusting during their first semester at University Park,” said Mallen.

“My parents have been attending Parents and Families Weekend for the past three years, since I was a freshman,” said Lia Peralta, a senior majoring in public relations from Bergenfield, N.J. “I have always felt that Parents and Families Weekend arrives timely, more so when I was an underclassman. I always feel a sense of relief and comfort when my parents visit because they provide me with assurance at a time when I need it the most. I think the weekend is important for students and their family members to participate in because it's an opportunity for parents to visit their children with activities and events planned specifically for them.”

For further information regarding the Parents Program and Parents and Families Weekend, call 814-863-1313 or visit online.

(Media Contacts)

Kelly Newburg

Last Updated September 19, 2011