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JPW introduces parents to campus life

Carolina Wilson | Sunday, February 19, 2012

Junior Parent’s Weekend (JPW) gave Notre Dame mothers and fathers a small glimpse into the college lives of their undergraduates.

“After being here this weekend, we saw firsthand that Notre Dame is really like a big family,” Alberto Elizondo, the father of Alberto Elizondo, said.

Family, both new and old, joined together for a weekend of events featuring an opening gala, collegiate workshops, hall luncheons and a president’s dinner that left parents reminiscing.

Cris Bowman, father of Alex Bowman, said he experienced a special warmth at Notre Dame.

“Having a son that is here gives you a different perspective,” Bowman said. “This weekend has given us that different perspective, and it really helps you see how warm, welcoming and wonderful the institution is,”

Alumnus Martin Prellwitz, father of Sophie Prellwitz, said it was interesting to note the changes around campus.

“It was kind of ironic visiting [Riley Hall] because I’m a chemical engineer, so that was my building when I was here, and now it’s the art building,” he said. “It’s an interesting blend of the old and of the new.”

Carol Prellwitz, Sophie Prellwitz’s mother, said she enjoyed JPW because it allowed her to meet her daughter’s family away from home.

“We got to [know] her ‘Domer’ friends a little better and her friends’ parents — her Notre Dame family,” Carol Prellwitz said.

Sophie Prellwitz said she was excited to show her parents how independent she had become over the past three years.

“I’m proud to show them the life that I have here that they don’t know about,” she said.

Other parents said they enjoyed JPW because it taught them more about the amazing opportunities the University has provided their children.

Senior Rebekah Wierson, an architecture major, participated in this year’s JPW. She said the collegiate workshops helped her parents understand how life-changing her time in the Rome Program was.

“The Dean gave a really good speech while quoting one of my professors saying that Notre Dame students have the amazing opportunity ‘to live ordinary lives in extraordinary places.’ And that’s what [study abroad] is,” she said. “We live there, we just really understood and learned and educated ourselves just as the Romans did.”

Mark Buczek, the father of Kate Buczek, said his experience at the Environmental Science workshop made him excited for his daughter’s future.

“Knowing now about all the opportunities that are and will be available to [Kate is hopeful],” he said. “We also saw a physics presentation and we realized how difficult physics is.”

Mauro Gregorio, father of Flavio Gregorio, said the event left him nostalgic.

“I think that [JPW] forces you to think that it’s probably the last time you come to an event [here] before graduation,” he said.

Gregorio said the weekend inspired him to reflect on where his son has been and where he is going.

“Graduation is about how everything is behind you, and even more about what’s ahead of you outside of Notre Dame,” he said. “[This weekend] gives us an opportunity to be thankful for everything that’s happened. It has been a great opportunity for our son, and also to start looking forward to how his life will be like after Notre Dame.”