After nearly 700 parents and families rolled on to the Hobart and William Smith campus during the first weekend in October, they were pleasantly surprised when the weekend’s activities had more in store for them than organizing dorm rooms, making trips to Wegmans and buying HWS gear at the College Store.
“Family Weekend is more than just a great tradition, it’s an opportunity for students to reconnect with their parents and make attendance to HWS an experience for the whole family,” says Director of Parent Relations Kerry Cassell P’07, P’10, P’12. “This year was a great success in bringing students’ families into our active community.”
First year student Cindy Ariza of New York City agreed. “This was my mom and dad’s first visit to campus, and I was so excited to share it with them.”
Once registered on Friday afternoon, families took time on the autumn afternoon to catch up and peruse the options the weekend held. Friday night, after dinners at one of Geneva’s local restaurants, many families made the decision to head to the opening reception of the Zeuxis’ “In and Out” exhibit at the Houghton House gallery.
Megan Brophy’12, of Farmington, Conn., and her dad, Robert, mom, Linda, and younger sister, Tori, took a walk along the lakeshore and were trying to decide what events they might enjoy on campus or if they were going to take an excursion in the surrounding area. This is the first time they had been to campus since they dropped Megan off on Labor Day weekend.
Saturday morning, campus tours fluttered back and forth every hour, showing visiting family members the new Scandling Campus Center, the Library’s new Learning Commons and the buildings at the two new arts buildings: the Katherine D. Elliott Studio Arts Building and the Goldstein Family Carriage House. When they weren’t on tours, many parents caught a glimpse of what it’s like to be a student at HWS when they sat in on mini-courses taught by HWS faculty.
On both nights, dozens of families also stopped by the President’s House for receptions where many deans and faculty members were excited to meet students and their families. One family who was quiet familiar with campus was the Andrews family, including Allison Andrews’12 of Chepachet, R.I. and her father, Rick ’73, her mom, Patricia, younger brother, Matt, and little sister, Melissa. Allison is a the fourth generation student at the Colleges. Before her father attended Hobart, her grandparents, Laurence ’49 and Elizabeth Young Andrews ’51, studied here. In 1918, her great-grandmother, Margaret Estey Andrews, graduated from the Colleges as well.
Off-campus at the Hellstrom Boathouse on the Seneca-Cayuga Canal, Sanfra and Ben Weiss of Dorset, Vt. were among spectators. They watched their son Derek ’12 compete in his first ever collegiate rowing regatta as the HWS crew teams took impressive victories over more than 400 student-athletes representing 13 colleges or universities at the annual Challenge on the Canal head-style racing event. Back on the sidelines of our fields, families cheered on while Hobart Soccer took down liberty league foe Hamilton 1-0, and William Smith Field Hockey fell to the fifth-ranked Messiah College Falcons.
Following Finger Lakes Dance! at the Smith Opera House that featured several faculty members, HWS students put on powerhouse performances of their own during the HWS Cabaret. The fifth annual Cabaret Show featured an exciting finale showcasing sizzling student talent for the whole family.
“Seeing parents in the classrooms, on the sidelines of our athletic events and genuinely happy and engaged with their families on our campus let me know that this weekend very went well.”