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Preview of Parents Weekend

September 20, 2011


By Emily Lammers

Note: Registration is required for Parents Weekend; late registrations accepted through Thursday, September. 22. Questions? Contact pweekend@umn.edu.

Parents Weekend is for checking in, checking up, and checking out … of the stressful work week that is. Parents Weekend is meant to be a fun, educational, and enjoyable experience for students and parents to share together.

Friday is the day to check in and pick up the final Parents Weekend packet with the most up-to-date schedule for the weekend, as well as other important information. Tours of the Smart Learning Commons in Walter Library and the Andersen Library will take place early on in the day, so arrive early to spend some time exploring the many secrets these libraries have hidden within. 

After touring the library collections, head over to the Science Teaching and Student Services Building to listen as speakers explain how to navigate such confusing topics as learning abroad, housing (both on and off campus), career planning, and commuting. Following the workshops, parents of freshmen and sophomores are ured to sample the student fare at one of the residence hall restaurants. 

Juniors and Seniors and their families are encouraged to attend the Junior-Senior Dinner, located in the Mississippi Room, where they can learn what it takes to prepare for the 21st century job search. Later in the evening, Gophers After Dark will host several activities, such as a photo booth, popcorn bar, and outdoor movie.  

Saturday is jam packed with stimulating and entertaining performances, speeches, and activities. The morning starts off with a welcome from Vice Provost for Student Affairs Jerry Rinehart and Parent Program Director Marjorie Savage. Following the welcome, the Gallup Company's representative, Mark Pogue, will give parents an introduction to the Strengths Quest initiative, which is becoming prominent on the U of M campus and around the country. The new president of the University, Eric Kaler, as well as his wife, Karen Kaler, will speak to parents about issues they and their students face in academia today. 

After their talks there will be a quick break for lunch before an electrifying performance by the Physics Force, a troupe of physics teachers and instructors who use themselves as objects in physics experiments. The Great Campus Quest will follow immediately, so try to absorb some of the instructors' brain power to figure out the clues. Let your competitive side continue through the evening as Gophers After Dark offers games like Bingo and Family Feud.

Emily Lammers is a junior in the College of Liberal Arts.

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