Western Carolina University will host its inaugural spring Family Weekend from Friday, April 23, to Sunday, April 25, as a way for families to celebrate the accomplishments of their university students.
Patterned after a similar weekend held every the fall, the event is sponsored by the WCU Family Association, an organization open to all families of WCU students to collaborate and share information, resources and experiences.
“We feel that it is important to give families an opportunity to spend a weekend on campus with their students,” said Shawna Young, WCU’s director of outreach and assessment. “Many association members are families of first-year students, so this is an opportunity for them to celebrate, as a family, their student successfully navigating his or her first year of college.”
A wide range of activities will take place each day, with a “full circle” theme resonating throughout spring family weekend, said Young. “We created a schedule where families could enjoy the weekend and our beautiful setting while also attending informational sessions that will help students and their families plan for the upcoming year,” she said.
Check-in and on-site registration for the weekend will occur from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Friday and from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday on the second floor of A.K. Hinds University Center. Families will be able to pick up a schedule for the weekend, tickets for events, campus maps and other information.
Family Weekend activities include a welcome reception, an “east versus west” softball game, a family fun night, a leadership luncheon and a farewell brunch. Information sessions about student opportunities in service learning, leadership, Greek life, career planning and study abroad initiatives also will be held Saturday.
Among the activities planned for Family Weekend:
- 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, “Natural Selection,” Hoey Auditorium, a satirical play about how technology has risen as the highest ruler and the Cultural Fiesta Theme park needs to restock its supply of Native Americans, sending one curator in to the wastelands of North America to find one. $5 for students, $20 for non-students.
- 8 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, WCU Wind Ensemble and Symphony Band, Fine and Performing Arts Center, a concert featuring student conductors and soloists.
- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Greening Up the Mountains, downtown Sylva, a street festival featuring traditional crafts and demonstrations, and a variety of regional music.
- 1:30 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Cherokee history tour, visitors will learn how campus is part of the spiritual and cultural homeland of the region’s largest Native American population, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
- 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, novelist Ron Rash’s “Appalachia,” University Center, Room 215. Ron Rash, Parris Distinguished Professor of Appalachian Culture and award-winning author, will share his perspective on Appalachia.
- 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Nantahala raft and ducky trip to the Class II-III Nantahala River. $25 for students, $30 for non-students.
- 3 p.m. Sunday, Inspirational Choir, University Center, Room 302, a concert of music promoting African-American culture through song.
For more information about spring Family Weekend, visit http://www.wcu.edu/parents/FamilyWeekend/ or contact Young by e-mail at email@example.com or by telephone at 828-227-2591.