Some will meet and chat with faculty members. Others will pick up the student they haven't seen since August and have lunch at Central Market. And a few will simply want to spend some down time with their son or daughter in the hotel.
Whatever their preference, family members of Franklin & Marshall students will have plenty of options when they descend on campus for the annual ritual of Family Weekend Oct. 2 to 4. An estimated 1,000 people will travel to the College to enjoy the festivities and catch up on the lives of their students.
"The interesting thing about Family Weekend is that parents come in with different perspectives," says Maura Condon Umble '83, director of parent relations. "Some parents want to come to campus, pick up their student, and take them straight out to dinner. Other families want to take part in every program we provide. And some do everything in-between. So we try to give them a lot of possibilities."
This year's Family Weekend falls on First Friday, a monthly celebration of the arts in downtown Lancaster. "This will be the first time that has happened," Umble says. "It's really a bonus for the families."
The weekend is packed with events, including the autumn research fair, College House receptions, a Career Services program on jobs and internships, and a series of athletic events. A full event schedule is available on the Web site.
The centerpiece of the weekend is President John Fry's welcome address in the Barshinger Center for Musical Arts, set for Oct. 3 at 9:30 a.m. "If there's one thing I want parents to take advantage of, it's that," Umble says. "The message will be really valuable."
Because there is no home football game at this year's Family Weekend, the men's soccer game against Haverford Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. will be the featured athletic event. A dedication ceremony for recently named Tylus Field will take place at halftime. Prior to the game, a tailgate party will greet fans in a tent beside the field.
Upon arrival, family members are encouraged to stop by the Steinman College Center atrium and pick up a full schedule with locations, times and details for the entire weekend.