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Parents arrive at College

Katie Kohler | Friday, February 16, 2007

During the spring semester, students often use their only substantial vacation – spring break – for a week of sitting on the beach with friends instead of going home to see their families. Fortunately for sophomores at Saint Mary’s, they’ll have the opportunity to do both this weekend.The winter months will bring familiar faces as parents from across the country arrive on campus for Sophomore Parents Weekend. The weekend events – which are coordinated by the sophomore class and Student Activities – will revolve around the theme “We are so Classic” to emphasize the deep-rotted traditions at Saint Mary’s, said student coordinator Sarah Dalton. Over 200 people are expected to attend the weekend events.”We have all been working hard since the beginning of this year for the big weekend,” she said.The planning of the event went smoothly, Dalton said, and she promises a “lot of special touches throughout the weekend” dedicated to past Saint Mary’s women.Events start Friday with an academic open house in the Student Center at 5 p.m. “This is a great chance for parents to get to meet our teachers now that we are more familiar with them than we were at freshman orientation,” Dalton said.Tours of the South Bend Chocolate Factory, the Snite Museum and the College Football Hall of Fame are all offered for sophomores and their families beginning Saturday morning. The Hall of Fame is the only activity which requires a fee, but a discounted group rate will be available for Saint Mary’s sophomores and their parents.The signature event is the dinner and dance at the Century Center beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday. “Sophomore Parents Weekend is such a tradition at Saint Mary’s and it’s going to be a memorable time to spend with each other and our parents,” Dalton said. “We tried to focus a lot of effort into the dinner.”Prior to dinner, there will be raffles, appetizers and music, Dalton said. The Sophomore Board is raffling off approximately 25 gift baskets and all of the proceeds will go toward future class events.”Our love for this school has really developed over the past year and a half and it will be really exciting for our parents to experience that with us,” she said.A sophomore Mass will precede dinner at 4 p.m. in the Church of Our Lady of Loretto.Students and their families are also encouraged to attend the final home basketball game on Saturday at 3 p.m. in Angela Athletic Facility.Many sophomores are looking forward to seeing their parents, especially those who live far away. Mary Beth Harris, who lives in Iowa, is using this weekend as an opportunity to spend some quality time with her parents.”I am really excited to see my parents because last semester I was an ocean away in Rome,” she said. “It will be great to show my parents the campus.”Megan Ryan is anxiously anticipating the weekend for another reason.”I am the first one in my family to ever attend Saint Mary’s, so this is the first parent-event my parents have the chance to come to,” she said. “I think it’s going to be a great time.”