By Nicholas Bainbridge
From September 22 to September 24, High Point University hosted its annual Family Weekend event, a longstanding tradition where the relatives of students visit their loved ones enrolled in the university. It grants parents a glimpse into the daily lives of students here at HPU, as well as to ensure that their children are getting the education that they deserve.
When asked about the experience of her and her husband during family weekend, Joanne Cardillo, mother of two High Point students, reports a overwhelmingly positive experience , “We always enjoy coming here and seeing our children and the beautiful campus. We are always treated extraordinarily.”
Family Weekend is not just about the relatives of students. It is also an important experience for students, as it gives them an opportunity to reconnect with the loved ones they left home. This is especially important for the freshman, who likely have not seen their parents since they first arrived at HPU back in August. For many, this is a chance for them to reflect on how their recent experiences have changed them. On the first day of Family Weekend, freshman Alex Wirth said, “It wasn’t until today that I realized how independent I’ve become.”
Every Family Weekend, the campus becomes drastically more lively with a multitude of special events, and this year was no exception. On Friday the university hosted a myriad of exciting and informative events, including tours of the campus, lectures on HPU’s values, Greek Life Ceremonies and even an improv comedy show presented by Charcoal Pony. Julie Burkett, sophomore at HPU, comments on here experience with her family. “My parents and I attended the Phi Mu open house where we watched a slide show about our families and our chapter and got the chance to donated to Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, CMNH. After, we walked around campus where I showed them the new and old buildings and shared anecdotes of my freshman year.”
The second day of Family Weekend had even more in store for students and their loved ones, beginning with a five-kilometer race around campus. Things only became more active throughout the day, as after Qubein’s riveting lecture, there was the annual Family Weekend Service Project, where thousands of meals were prepared for the less fortunate through the hard work of volunteering faculty, students and family members. The Capella groups held a concert in the Hayworth Fine Arts Center, where they dazzled audiences with their sublime voices and were rewarded with thunderous applause. Even after all this, there was still much to do on campus in the evening. Many went to support HPU women’s lacrosse team in their match against Duke, while others attended the Choral Concert and listened to the refined voices of the chorus groups on campus.
Saturday ended with a dramatic fireworks display, heralding the end of Family Weekend the next morning.
Family Weekend was an exciting and emotional experience for all who participated. It gave students a chance to rekindle their connections with home and allowed parents a glimpse into their children’s lives. There are always things to do on campus at HPU, but the sheer density of unique experiences is rarely as high as it was during this event. Whether they are students, parents, or faculty, those who took part in Family Weekend will not soon forget their experience and are likely looking forward to next year because of it.