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Parents spend weekend with juniors on campus

Nicole Toczauer | Sunday, February 20, 2011

For the past three days, Notre Dame juniors and parents roamed campus to experience events offered by this year’s celebration of the annual Junior Parents Weekend (JPW).


“A lot of families come. It’s like another football weekend,” JPW 2011 chairperson Erin Connors said.


The weekend began Friday evening, Connors said, with an Opening Gala that featured a cash bar, DJ and photographer.


“I loved the Gala because we got dinner with our family first and you got to see everyone’s parents,” she said. “People would say, ‘You look so much like your mom or your dad.'”


Parents and juniors attended college workshops Saturday morning, Connors said. In the workshops, parents learned about what their sons and daughters have studied the past three years.


Junior Stephanie Ruas went to the Mendoza presentation with her parents.


“I introduced them to once of my professors and then we went off to a breakout group for marketing,” she said.


Later, juniors and parents emerged from dorms Saturday evening clad in formal attire for the mass and President’s Dinner with University President Fr. John Jenkins. More than 4,000 people attended, Connors said. Fr. Tom Doyle, vice president for Student Affairs, gave a homily accompanied by an opening and closing prayer by University President Emeritus Fr. Edward “Monk” Malloy and Ryan Hall rector Breyan Tornifolio.


Sunday, parents said goodbye at the Closing Brunch where University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh gave a closing benediction. Chuck Lennon, executive director of the Alumni Association, also gave a farewell speech.


While activities and academic presentations were major components of the weekend, Ruas said showing her parents how she lived on campus was the most important part.


“I really wanted to show them was how I spent my time,” she said. “They met all of my friends.”


As parents returned home, campus activity settled down once again and juniors prepared for the week ahead.


“It’s an exhausting process,” junior Drew Davis said. “But it’s a treat having my parents in town and it was a lot of fun.