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Junior class welcomes parents to campus

| Thursday, February 13, 2014

Mothers and fathers of members of the junior class are traveling from all around the country for Notre Dame’s annual Junior Parents Weekend (JPW).

“I want this weekend to be really special, and I want parents to have a magical experience at Notre Dame,” JPW chairperson and junior Shannon Hagedorn said. “This is one of the three big events for parents and students, and I have been trying to do everything I can to make sure it is fabulously wonderful.”

Junior Christian Knight said JPW offers a rare opportunity to bring families together on campus.

JPW graphicKeri O'Mara | The Observer

“With there only being three events on campus — Frosh-O, graduation and JPW — that bring all the parents on campus, it will be cool to have them here one last time before graduation,” Knight said.

The weekend will kick off with an opening gala Friday night, held in the Joyce Center, according to the JPW website. Each undergraduate college will host events throughout Saturday afternoon, and families can attend JPW Mass at 5:30 p.m. in Purcell Pavilion, followed by a President’s Dinner, the website stated. The weekend will conclude with a closing brunch Sunday morning.

Junior Shane O’Connor said he timing of JPW allows parents and students to enjoy the weekend together while the juniors still feel committed to campus life. He said the special events would complement the time his family has to relax and explore Notre Dame.

“I am excited for JPW so that I can have the chance to show my parents what life is like while I’m actually at Notre Dame and not when I’m about to leave.” O’Connor said. “I think that JPW is a nice tradition and I’m most excited to cut a rug at the gala.”

Junior Maggie Miller said she looks forward to showing her parents a typical Notre Dame weekend.

“I’m most excited about having time on campus with my parents when it’s not a game,” Miller said. “To just hang out, the three of us, without all of the tourists on game day.”

Hagedorn said when the junior parents weekend tradition began many years ago, University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh would deliver the benediction at the JPW brunch.

“He often spoke about the humble origins of JPW, created under his administration and leadership,” Hagedorn said. “The first JPW was simply a dinner at the Morris Inn for a relatively small number of families, and it grew from that humble beginning.”

Hagedorn said she is in charge of a committee of 13 juniors who work together to ensure the weekend goes smoothly.

“In a nutshell, my job has been to coordinate everything for the weekend, including recruit a committee of chairs, delegate the jobs for the different events, coordinate various items with multiple vendors, arrange tables for the meals, respond to the emails to the JPW account and make sure that everything is taken care of for the weekend,” Hagedorn said.

She said she is most looking forward to seeing her own parents and watching all of the students and parents meet each other.

“I can’t wait to see the Notre Dame family and personal families come together and share the special moments of the weekend,” Hagedorn said. “There has been a lot of planning and coordinating, and I’m ready to see the product.”

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  • Trish French

    It was a great weekend for us back 7 years ago. We forged strong bonds with other parents and our son’s friends. We have reunited at our children’s weddings… a reflection of the strong bonds created as families and community