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SMC Sophomore Parent’s Weekend unites families

Bridget Feeney | Sunday, February 12, 2012

President Carol Ann Mooney and the class of 2014 welcomed a special group of visitors Friday as Saint Mary’s College celebrated its annual Sophomore Parents Weekend.

Allie Richthammer, committee chair and community liaison for the event, said the Class of 2014 Board wanted to give students and parents a unique way to experience Saint Mary’s.

“We hoped to have a weekend for the sophomores and their families to get to know one another and for the parents to experience their daughters’ lives at (Saint Mary’s),” she said. “Events like these serve to strengthen the bonds and friendships of Saint Mary’s girls.”

The weekend began on Friday with the parents’ arrivals, “mocktails” and a silent auction in Spes Unica. On Saturday, students and their parents celebrated Mass and attended a banquet dinner with President Mooney. The weekend concluded Sunday with brunch in the Noble Family Dining Hall.

For some students, the distance between home and Saint Mary’s is short enough that they can easily see their parents throughout the year. However, for sophomore Christa McColl, this weekend was a special event.

“My parents are not able to come for that many weeks out of the year because I am from Georgia, so this weekend is the perfect opportunity for them to make the journey up,” she said.

Even students who see their parents on a regular basis appreciated Sophomore Parents Weekend, simply because it gave them the chance to bring family to campus.

Sophomore Hannah Karches said she enjoyed giving her parents a glimpse of her life at Saint Mary’s.

“I loved spending time with my parents and introducing them to my friends,” she said. “I also really enjoyed meeting some of my friends’ parents for the first time.”

Sophomore Ellen Smith said she appreciated having the opportunity to spend time with her parents outside of the traditional Notre Dame football game weekends.

“My parents usually come down for a day or two in the fall for a football game, so [seeing them for a whole weekend] is pretty rare,” she said. “I knew it was going to be a fun weekend because they were here.”

Although the event was only three days long, the Class of 2014 Board planned Sophomore Parents Weekend for three months.

“We started planning around November,” Richthammer said. “Planning the weekend was definitely stressful, but we have a great board.”

Despite the stress and months of organization, Richthammer said the work paid off.

“[The Board] had no idea what to expect leading up to the weekend, so seeing the events come together was incredible,” she said. “My parents were surprised when they found out we were eating with President Mooney. I loved seeing them rubbing elbows with the president.”