UNIVERSITY NEWS | For parents, it is the best of times and the worst of times. Sending a child off to college, that is.
Parents carry a measure of pride at their children’s accomplishments, and some anguish when they send their daughters or sons off to college. Are they well? Are they happy? And students often carry a deep wish to share their new experiences with their parents.
There is a solution for parents and students: Lion Family Weekend. It is a three-day opportunity for families to experience the academic, service and social values that their Lions live daily at Loyola Marymount University. Parents, grandparents, siblings and other family members are invited to join their LMU student, who in turn gets the chance to show their family what they love about LMU.
“Spending time with my daughter,” one parent wrote after last year’s Lion Family Weekend, “seeing her dorm, meeting her friends, getting to feel part of her college experience” was an important understanding. Last year, more than 1,600 participants from 552 families took part in the highest-attended Lion Family Weekend ever. Registrations for this year are on track to break that mark.
“What makes Lion Family Weekend such a success is the strong cross-campus collaboration that goes into its planning and execution,” said Vanessa Arredondo, associate director for parent programs and parent giving. “Every division and department plays a role in welcoming families to campus and showcasing the best of the bluff. We are grateful to the entire community of staff, faculty, students, as well as alumni and parent volunteers, whose time and talents make this weekend possible.”
This year’s Lion Family Weekend, Feb. 9-11, offers a packed itinerary organized around the three pillars of the LMU mission statement. “I loved learning on Friday,” a parent wrote, “being a part of the cheering section on Saturday, and serving others on Sunday!” It is also an opportunity to highlight some of LMU’s unique and signature programs.
Friday’s schedule highlights programs that focus on the encouragement of learning.
- The day begins with registration at 10 a.m., followed by lunch with Tom Poon, executive vice president and provost.
- Then, as on the following two days, each time slot has two program options for families to choose from. For example, during the 2:10 to 3:10 p.m. period, the faculty of the Marital and Family Therapy program, a signature master’s degree program in the College of Communications and Fine Arts that does important healing work with clinics, is offering “DRAWing from the College Experience.”
- Later in the day are the ever-popular sessions with the academic deans, from 4:30 to 6 p.m.
Saturday’s events are focused on education of the whole person.
- “Little Sibs Day” begins at 10 a.m., and includes breakfast and activities for younger sisters and brothers.
- President Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D., will talk to the Family Weekend participants at 11 a.m.
- At noon, Athletic Director Bill Husak will lead a rousing session of Lion cheers.
- Also at noon, family members in a more meditative mood can join a session presented by LMU’s Yoga Studies Program, the only master’s degree program in yoga studies in the country.
- The LMU game day experience begins at 1 p.m. with food trucks and a beer garden.
- At 3 p.m., the LMU men’s basketball team tips off against West Coast Conference rival Pepperdine. The teams are vying for or the bragging rights that come with the PCH Cup.
- This packed day ends with performances and presentations from several departments in a CFA-hosted “Celebration of Cuban Art and Culture.”
The events for Sunday are devoted to the service of faith and the promotion of justice.
- The day begins with the Legacy Family Reception at 8:30 a.m., followed by Family Weekend Mass at 10 a.m. in Sacred Heart Chapel.
- After Mass, Lion Family Weekend participants will have an opportunity to participate in a family service project to bring aid and comfort to some of Los Angeles’ homeless population.
Lion Family Weekend offers LMU’s students and their parents, relatives and siblings three days of exploration of the LMU experience, an opportunity to deepen ties to the university, and a chance to reconnect on a personal level. Further information can be found here.