Notre Dame hosts Junior Parents Weekend
Katie Galioto | Sunday, February 22, 2015
Last weekend, Notre Dame welcomed mothers and fathers of members of the junior class to celebrate the University’s annual Junior Parents Weekend (JPW). Traveling to Notre Dame from across the country, parents participated in three days of diverse events designed to give them a taste of the Notre Dame student experience.
Junior Maria McGuire, chair of the Arts and Letters college workshop, said the main goal of the 13-person planning committee was to create a memorable experience for juniors and their parents that embodies the culture and tradition of Notre Dame.
“I think the overall goal of JPW is simply showing what Notre Dame’s about,” McGuire said. “It’s really special to be able to have this designated time to bring together your Notre Dame family and your biological family.”
The schedule for the weekend was packed with a number of events including a gala, collegiate workshops, mass and the President’s Dinner.
Junior Jacob Schrimpf said both of his parents, Michael and Margaret Schrimpf, attended Notre Dame as members of the class of 1989.
“I think this experience is extra special because my parents both had their own JPWs,” Jacob Schrimpf said. “Notre Dame is now both their University and my University. Having the opportunity to share and celebrate this school has made this a really incredible weekend.”
Margaret Schrimpf said JPW provides a unique experience for junior parents to see how their sons and daughters have grown during their time at Notre Dame.
“I think that by junior year, the kids have had two and a half years to solidify their majors, their friends and their place on campus,” Margaret Schrimpf said. “They’re in this time where they’ve really established themselves as Notre Dame students. As parents, this weekend gives you a chance to see where they’ve been and what they’ve been doing, while also looking ahead to the things they could be doing in the future.”
Junior Kate Hermeling said her favorite part of the weekend was introducing her parents to her friends and meeting her friends’ parents.
“You meet such incredible people here at Notre Dame,” she said. “It’s fun to see how these people were raised and where they come from.”
Michael Schrimpf said he enjoyed the Arts and Letters collegiate workshop because it showed parents the academic components of his life.
“It was really exciting to see another aspect of what’s happening here on campus,” Michael Schrimpf said. “Along with the social activities, we get to see the learning and the research which students come here to do. The kids are really doing some amazing and impressive things.”
Jacob Schrimpf said he appreciated the opportunity to share his Notre Dame experience with his parents without the craziness of a football weekend.
“This weekend is really just an opportunity to welcome them into my world, into my day-to-day life,” Jacob Schrimpf said. “We’ve had receptions with all the different groups that I’m a part of, including my dorm. They get to meet all of my friends that they might not get to meet when they’re here for those big occasions. It’s just an opportunity to enjoy what Notre Dame is and what it means to us, and that’s a really cool thing to get to share.”
McGuire said JPW reminds juniors that graduation is closer than they think.
“It’s sad now that it’s over because it was something on the horizon for so long,” McGuire said. “Now the next big event for us is graduation, which is kind of scary to think about because this time has gone by so fast.”
Hermeling said JPW allowed her to show her parents how Notre Dame has impacted her life.
“It was a really good time for us to take a moment with our parents, to thank them and show them what Notre Dame has done for us,” she said. “It’s a way to show them that the investment they’ve made has really affected every aspect of our lives — academically, socially and in many other ways.”