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Belles invite fathers for Senior Dads Weekend

CAROLINE STICKELL | Monday, October 7, 2013

Members of the Saint Mary’s class of 2014 and their fathers enjoyed events at Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame this weekend during the College’s annual Senior Dads Weekend.

Susie Larson, vice president of the 2014 class board, who helped organize the event, said the board worked hard to find an open weekend for this event since last spring, because it had to account for the numerous events on campus and the football schedule.

Larson said there was a great deal of interest in all of the scheduled events, which resulted in a large turnout from the senior class and their fathers.

“The weekend had 280 students register and our class is 298 strong, so we were extremely excited about the turnout,” Larson said. 

Student body president Kat Sullivan said the class board did a good job of including the entire senior class community.

“Regardless of who the father figure is in a girl’s life, the class board made sure the events were welcoming to all, including some mothers,” Sullivan said. 

The weekend’s events opened with a beer garden and silent auction Friday evening in the College’s Student Center. 

Sullivan said the event included an open bar with all types of beer and wine, and the silent auction was filled with donated items from the fathers.

“Whatever money that was made from the auction was then given to the class of 2014’s board, so it was a great way to fundraise for future class events,” Sullivan said.  “Also, everyone who went got a beer sty with a French cross on it and little koozies with bowties on them to commemorate the weekend.”

On Saturday, the College Archives and the Riedinger House were open for morning tours. Sullivan said this helped the girls to share their College’s history with their fathers. 

Senior Bridget Byrne said the tours of Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday afternoon were one of her favorite parts of the weekend, as well as a watch party for the Notre Dame vs. ASU game at CJ’s Bar later that evening.

“I have always loved watching games with my Dad, so this was something special for us to do together before graduation,” Byrne said. “It was also so fun to do push-ups in CJ’s during the game watch, and I know all of my friends were really looking forward to this weekend after all of the fun we had at Junior Mom’s Weekend last spring.”

The weekend culminated with Mass in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit in Le Mans Hall on Saturday night, Sullivan said. 

At the Mass, Saint Mary’s students and their fathers celebrated their relationships. 

The celebrant, Fr. John Pearson, stressed the importance of letting their parents know how grateful the students were for their love and support, Sullivan said. 

“Fr. John talked a lot about making sure us girls recognized that our fathers make sacrifices for us not because they’re expecting a thank you, but because they love us,” Sullivan said. “I think that that really resonated with a lot of girls and their fathers that were present.”

The parent weekends at Saint Mary’s are among many students’ favorite traditions on campus, Larson said.

“I am a strong supporter in how Saint Mary’s organizes their parent weekends throughout our four years on campus because I think it reflects our experience growing as young women,” she said.

Contact Caroline Stickell at cstick01@saintmarys.edu