Rensselaer Celebrates Family Weekend
As the leaves turned color and the cool autumn weather settled in, more than 4,400 people visited campus Oct. 19-21 to celebrate Family Weekend. Parents, family members, alumni, and friends had an opportunity to get a glimpse of life and the changes taking place at Rensselaer through a variety of cultural offerings and performances, academic classroom programs, tours, dinners, film screenings, and athletic events.
“As an embodiment of the Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students (CLASS) initiative, we have events for each class year, events in the residence halls, and celebrations of student achievement with all five schools participating in some way, and each is an opportunity for parents to connect with their students and for both to connect with Rensselaer,” said Louis Trzepacz, class dean for the Class of 2014, who also served as chair for Family Weekend.
“Most important, for our first-year families the weekend carves out a formal space for parents to recognize their students’ hard work,” Trzepacz added. “For our upper-class parents, the weekend provides an opportunity for a celebration of the significant milestones in their students’ lives, such as the class ring or impending graduation.”
The annual event—hosted by the Office of the Student Experience—often attracts thousands to the Troy campus to experience the season and life at Rensselaer and within the surrounding community. Highlights of this year’s events included a football game vs. Hobart College, a women’s hockey game vs. Union College, numerous student performances and exhibitions, and the Honors Convocation ceremony.
For individuals interested in getting a glimpse of the diverse cultures on campus, the annual International Festival event showcased more than 20 different countries and cultures representing the Rensselaer Union international student organizations and individual members of the Rensselaer campus.
Individuals also had an opportunity to attend the annual Fall Fest Celebration. The event brought together performers, food vendors, crafters, and children’s activities. Area businesses and community organizations also participated.
Trzepacz also noted that in planning Family Weekend, since distance and prior commitments may have prevented some families from making the trip to campus, several new programs were introduced so that families could connect with their student. This year, families had the option of purchasing specialty fall-themed care packages created by Sodexo, as well as sending a special message to their student via the Jumbotron in the ECAV Arena that would be displayed during the women’s hockey game against Union College.
Overall, more than 70 events were planned for the weekend to highlight the many facets of Rensselaer.