News, University News

Families flock to campus for family weekend

U. offers speeches, performances, exhibits to showcase daily life on campus during weekend

Staff Writer
Sunday, October 15, 2017

After dropping their students off six weeks ago for the start of school, many families returned to campus this weekend to take part in the annual Family Weekend celebrations. Marked by a series of events ranging from speeches to exhibits to concerts, Family Weekend served as a window into the lives of Brown students for their families.

“The goal is to give families a taste of the best of Brown,” said Mikele St-Germain, assistant director of University Event and Conference Services. “We want to give them a similar experience to what their student has on campus. … We want families to walk away feeling that their student is in a good place.”

To provide this experience, the University coordinated its own offerings and scheduled locations for student group performances. Some of these events included an exhibit about the Voyager spacecraft, performances of “Macbeth” by student group Shakespeare on the Green and the football game between Brown and Princeton. One of the University’s largest events was the President’s Address, which featured a keynote speech by author and philanthropist James Patterson P’20. In her speech, Paxson described student life at Brown. She cited a student’s feeling of ownership in the University, learning through the open curriculum, developing a balance between an academic and social life and finding passions at and after Brown.

Patterson’s address focused on the power of stories to do good and create change in our lives and in the world. He discussed the idea that we use stories to form opinions of ourselves and others and the importance of college in forming the stories that make up our own core values. Patterson also spoke to the power of collaboration that stems from the Brown education model, promoting the idea that “partnership is more successful” than government, business or philanthropy alone.

Families came to Providence from across the globe to take part in the festivities. Rongjie Chen, sister of Rachel Wang ’21, flew from Washington, D.C. to visit campus. Chen said she and her sister were “really excited about the musical offerings.”

Sofia Mason’s ’21 family also looked forward to the musical events offered and planned to watch “an acapella concert or two,” said Hal Mason P’21, Sofia’s father.

For the family of Jessica Raviv ’21 and Micaela Raviv ’20, driving up from Manhattan to be on campus was the perfect opportunity for some family time. “We have two daughters here,” said their father, Adi Raviv P’20 P’21. “We wanted to spend the day with them and have some time together.”

St-Germain hopes that Family Weekend was a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone. “Family Weekend is a great event to plan. It’s always wonderful to meet families and interact with them,” she said.

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