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Saint Mary’s students anticipate First Year Parents’ Weekend

| Friday, February 9, 2018

This weekend, Saint Mary’s will be hosting parents from across the country as part of First Year Parents’ Weekend. The event boasts a lineup of activities intended to introduce these parents to the College community and allow them to spend time with their child in the Saint Mary’s environment.

The official event kicks off Friday with registration and a welcoming reception at Reignbeaux Lounge in LeMans Hall. Starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, there will be bowling, go-karting and mini-golfing at Strikes and Spares Entertainment Center in Mishawaka, which will last until noon. Then, from 2–3 p.m., there will be a “Surviving Sophomore Year” event in Carroll Auditorium, followed by a Mass in the Church of Loretto at 4 p.m. The event will be rounded out by cocktails starting at 6:30 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. at Hilton Garden Inn’s Gillespie Center, which will include a photo booth available for students and parents to use.

First-year class council representative Deirdre Drinkall said she is excited to show her mom the developments that have occurred in her life at Saint Mary’s since the last time she had been to campus.

“I am excited for her to meet all my new friends and to see the changes that we’ve made to the room since August,” she said. “It’s hard after having a [month-long] break to come back to school and to have her so far away in Florida, so it will be good to spend time with her.”

First-year Emily Pantelleria said she is excited for the events planned, particularly since she will be able to enjoy them with her parents, which she takes as an advantage.

“There [are] a bunch of activities that sound really good — like bowling and go-karting,” she said.

In addition to allowing parents and first years to enjoy some quality bonding time together, first-year Anna Abel said First Year Parents’ Weekend is important because it shows Saint Mary’s off to the parents.

“[The event] shows our parents our school, and [it ensures] we spend some time with them as we are getting older,” she said.

Pantelleria said she is especially excited because she believes the event connects students’ parents to one another.

“I think it is really important for people whose parents live farther away, for [those students] to spend time with their parents because they don’t get to visit them as often,” she said. “My parents do come down a lot, [so] they are more coming down to meet my friends’ parents, as my friends’ parents live farther away.”

The event is also important to simply help keep parents connected to their children while they’re away at Saint Mary’s, and vice versa, Drinkall said.

“I think it is to keep parents in the loop, and it makes them feel like they’re a part of something even though we’re so far away,” she said. “And also, it will just be a lot of fun to have [my mom] here. I miss her, definitely.”

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