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Parents, Holtz arrive on campus for JPW

Eva Binda | Friday, February 16, 2007

Former head football coach Lou Holtz will be in town this weekend to speak to the parents of more than 1,200 juniors arriving in South Bend for the 55th annual Junior Parents Weekend (JPW).Holtz will be speaking at Sunday’s closing brunch, the culminating activity of the three-day event designed for junior parents at Notre Dame.”We’re particularly excited for Lou Holtz,” Associate Director of Student Activities Brian Fremeau said.Fremeau said the organizing committee was fortunate to get a speaker who is “so loved” by the Notre Dame community to speak at JPW, an event intended to give parents the chance to learn more about the “people and places that comprise [their] son or daughters home away from home,” JPW 2007 chairperson Kerry Carroll said in a letter to junior parents.Focused on the Notre Dame family, JPW enables parents to “become part of the academic, spiritual, social and residential life of the University,” Carroll said.Many students are looking forward to the opportunity to spend time with their parents on campus for a weekend and show them around Notre Dame.”JPW is an opportunity for Notre Dame parents to come to the school and really get a feel for the accomplishments of their child. It’s also an opportunity for them to feel proud of their children,” said junior Ryan Daniels. Daniels said he and his parents planned “on touring the campus and going to the Bookstore,” in addition to attending several of the planned activities such as the cocktail party Friday night and the Sunday morning brunch.Though there isn’t a named theme this year as there was in years past, Fremeau suggested that “Love Thee Notre Dame” is a theme surrounding the events of the weekend.Fremeau said there will be plenty of Notre Dame imagery in decorations and events intended to evoke the Spirit of Notre Dame. JPW 2006 held the theme of “Traditional Notre Dame,” while 2005 organizers used a “Passport Abroad” theme.Parents and juniors have a busy few days ahead of them, as events kick off tonight with an Opening Gala at 9 in the Joyce Center. According to the JPW Web site, the event – which requires tickets – includes music, dancing, hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Saturday morning parents and students are invited to participate in workshops hosted by each of the colleges – the College Arts & Letters, College of Science, College of Engineering and the Mendoza College of Business – with presentations by various speakers from within the respective college. Following these workshops, residence hall luncheons will be held. Visitors then have the option of attending a JPW mass at the Joyce Center with University President Father John Jenkins presiding. Saturday night is centered around the President’s Dinner, which also requires tickets.Fremeau said planning for the event began in April 2006 when the core executives, such as the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, were chosen. Planning has been “steady since the middle of the fall semester through this weekend,” said Fremeau, who also plays a role in advising the JPW Committee.University President Emeritus Father Theodore Hesburgh began the tradition of Junior Parents Weekend back in 1952 in order for parents to spend time with their children on campus before the hectic activities of commencement. Parents were required to submit ticket applications by Dec. 4, 2006 and students could pick up tickets on Feb. 13 and 14. Parietals will be at midnight both Friday and Saturday this weekend.