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Weekend celebrates juniors, parents

| Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Notre Dame welcomed juniors’ parents to campus last weekend, this time not to cheer for Irish football, but to attend Junior Parents Weekend (JPW).
A committee of 13 juniors, led by JPW chairperson Shannon Hagedorn, planned the event, which aimed to expose parents to the strong sense of tradition at Notre Dame.

“My goal for this year’s JPW was to make it a really special and elegant weekend,” Hagedorn said. “In selecting the program pictures, centerpieces and decorations, I tried to represent the tradition and magic of Notre Dame.”

Even though severe storms in the Northeast prevented some parents from attending, 4,000 people were involved in the weekend’s events, Hagedorn said.

Juniors and their parents mingle at the Junior Parents Weekend  dinner Saturday in the Joyce Center. More than 4,000 people attended the weekend’s events, which also included a gala and dorm brunches.Photo courtesy of Shannon Hagedorn

Juniors and their parents mingle at the Junior Parents Weekend dinner Saturday in the Joyce Center. More than 4,000 people attended the weekend’s events, which also included a gala and dorm brunches.

Hagedorn said the weekend involved a number of diverse events, including a gala, collegiate workshops, a JPW Mass and a president’s dinner.

“It was so fun to see everyone mingling and dancing at the gala, meeting professors at the academic workshops, coming together for the Mass and sharing dinner and brunch together with incredible speakers, including keynote speakers [University President Fr. John] Jenkins, [junior class president] Olivia LaMagna and [director of the Institute for Educational Initiatives Fr. Timothy] Scully,” Hagedorn said.

Junior Stephanie Scherer said JPW opened her eyes to how large the junior class was.

“Sometimes you don’t realize how many people you don’t know until you’re all in one place,” Scherer said.

Junior Catherine Puma said student involvement in the event helped build community within the junior class.

“I feel a better sense of community, especially since we had student speakers, because so many people were involved,” Puma said.

Junior Kathryn Bush said the experience gave her parents a chance to better understand her life at Notre Dame.

“[Our] parents liked to see how we made the University our own,” Bush said.

The weekend was not only an opportunity for students to interact, but for parents to meet their children’s friends and their parents, Puma said.

JPW also reminded students that graduation is closer than they think, Scherer said.

“It gives us a sense that we don’t have much time left here, so we want to enjoy it and have an impact before we leave,” she said.

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