Family Day branches out

UC debuts new activity-filled Family Weekend, kicking off Friday

Emily Jolly

This year, Ursinus has expanded Family Day into a whole weekend to better showcase everything the college has to offer.

Family Weekend will run from Friday, Sept. 30, to Sunday, Oct. 2, with various activities scheduled each day to be enjoyed by parents and students alike.

As Todd McKinney, associate dean of student life and director of student affairs said, the goal this year is to “showcase a lot of the things the college has to offer [and to] give a bigger, more global picture of the kind of thing going on here at [Ursinus], Collegeville, and [the] surrounding Philadelphia [area].”

Angela Cuva, assistant director of leadership development and student activities, explained that she worked closely with  McKinney on a committee of several faculty and staff members to make Family Weekend a hit.

“In previous years our demographics have been more focused on the families,” Cuva said. “So we used to have bouncy houses, the face painting, and things like that. But now we’re just trying to showcase our students to the families.”

One of the programs will be a mini-CoSA (Celebration of Student Achievement), where students will present research or talk about their experiences with internships and study abroad. The program already has several students lined up, but if any other students are interested in participating they may contact Cuva.

The weekend will not only focus on the academic success of students and faculty. Saturday will include the football and field hockey games, an open swim, and a picnic on the BWC triangle. There will also be sculpture tours led by students that will take place in the morning and afternoon so parents can experience the art around campus.

Saturday evening will feature many musical events for all students to enjoy. The Robot Bears, the Ursinus College society for electronic music, will perform. Among others, students Michael Muli, Antonio Goode, Kenneth Ball, and Alexander Lehr will take the stage to show off original work.

Jazz Night will begin shortly after in Lower Wismer, where students and parents are invited to relax, eat and listen to the jazz music hosted by the Blue Note Jazz Society. This program, according to Cuva, is normally held later in the semester, but was moved up in order to offer parents the opportunity to attend while experiencing the other events.

Some of the activities will be moving off campus. McKinney said that these trips were planned “to let folks know that [in] our surrounding [area] there’s a vibrant communal feel.”

Friday evening is comprised of trips to nearby towns Phoenixville and Skippack to explore what they have to offer. McKinney said that this gives people the opportunity to go “strolling through Skippack village and [see] everything from antique stores to comic books stores.”

Families will also be able to go to Phoenixville and explore the town’s shopping and food. “There’s the vinyl records shop, and some consignment places supported by different charities,” McKinney explained.

On Sunday the events will extend all the way to Philadelphia, where three trips will be offered. One is geared towards the sciences with a tour at the Mütter Museum, led by Dr. Robert and Dr. Ellen Dawley, professors of biology at Ursinus.

Another trip will visit Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Reading Terminal Market, and City Hall; Cari Freno, assistant professor of art and art history, will guide.

The third will be a historical tour of Philadelphia, guiding people to landmarks such as Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and the Constitution Center.

Cuva and McKinney want to encourage all students, including those without family coming to visit, to take advantage of all that will be offered over the weekend.

Many events require registration, which can be completed in advance online, but will also be offered onsite as well to accommodate students’ shifting schedules.

A full schedule of events and registration can be found on the Ursinus webpage under Family Weekend.