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Annual Events for Parents

Save the Dates

Parents Weekend 2014 is scheduled for September 26-27. Parents Weekend features opportunities for parents and students to spend time together, both in scheduled activities and on your own.

A detailed schedule and registration information will be included in upcoming parent emails and in a mailing to be sent in August. To sign up for email updates, send your email address to

Gopher Sports Family Weekend. Join the crowd and cheer for the Gophers on Friday and Saturday, October 10 and 11.

The Golden Gopher volleyball team will host one of the newest members of the Big Ten Conference, the Maryland Terrapins, on Friday, October 10 (time TBA) at the Sports Pavillion. Purchase discounted tickets for just $5 (half-off regular price). Check back for link to purchase tickets.

On Saturday’s 2014 Big Ten Conference home opener, October 11, Coach Kill and the Golden Gopher Football team will take on Northwestern (Time TBA) at TCF Bank Stadium. Purchase discounted tickets for just $30 (savings of $20). Check back for link to purchase tickets.

Current and Upcoming Events

Parent Orientation

Adjustment to college life or a new university can be an exciting and a challenging experience for both students and parents and we invite all parents of incoming students to participate in Parent Orientation. Attending Parent Orientation is a great opportunity to become more familiar with the University. The program is designed to help answer questions about University resources and opportunities and find out what to expect the first year. Staff from several campus offices and current students are available to answer questions. For more information and dates, see Orientation and First Year Programs.

Milwaukee/Madison Rouser Rallies

The Milwaukee area picnic is on August 2 at Hoyt Park and the Madison area event is on August 3 at Elver Park. Incoming freshmen from these areas will receive an email invitation to the events. These send-off picnics are a great way to gather freshmen and their families. It's a chance to meet "experienced" parents and students and find out answers to questions that have been accumulating over the summer. The rallies include a barbecue lunch and a chance to win great prizes.


Move-In Receptions
Monday, August 25, 2014; 2-8 p.m.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014; 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Location: Goldy's Gameroom; Coffman Memorial Union

After parents move their students into the residence hall on move-in day, they can take a break and give their students some time to unpack, settle in, and meet their roommates and neighbors. A reception for parents provides refreshments and staff can answer last-minute questions.

Annual Events

More information about annual events for parents will be posted on this site as the event draws near. Here is a summary of the events parents can look forward to. 

Orientation-2 Each fall, parents are invited to campus for a weekend of activities and programs.

Band Parents Day (Fall)

Join other band parents to watch a halftime performance at a University of Minnesota football game. For information, call the band office at 612-624-6873.

Parents Weekend (Fall)

A few weeks after classes start in the fall, parents are invited to campus to experience some of the educational opportunities, activities, and pageantry of the University. Activities include special workshops for parents, a chance to visit the University's galleries and museums, and the simple pleasure of a fall day on campus with your student.


Students on a campus tour during orientation.

GradFest (Spring)

GradFest is the U of M's official "one-stop" source for graduation information, services and products, and has promised "no hassle for a tassel" to U of M graduates. GradFest is a great way for students to save time and money while beginning to prepare for commencement and life after college.

Parents are invited to attend GradFest and help their students take care of graduation planning needs while exploring dozens of graduation-related exhibits where students can:

  • Pick up a cap & gown
  • Order graduation announcements
  • Select a college ring
  • Have a commencement portrait taken
  • Take care of financial aid exit interview
  • Save on diploma frames
  • Join the Alumni Association
  • Have their resume evaluated
  • Talk with local recruiters
  • And much, much more

For more information, see the GradFest website.

Classes Without Quizzes (Spring)

The College of Food, Agricultural & Natural Resource Sciences invites parents to attend Classes Without Quizzes. Held annually on the first Saturday in April, this uniquely diverse forum gives parents a chance to talk with faculty researchers and experts while learning about the science that affects all of us.

For more information, visit the Classes Without Quizzes website.

Commencement (Spring)

Because the University graduates several thousand students each spring, we do not hold an all-campus graduation ceremony. Each college within the University schedules its own commencement, giving students the opportunity to walk across the stage individually, in the presence of their own faculty and college administrators. Also, each college designates its own commencement speaker.

Find scheduled commencement ceremonies and other information on the Events Calendar.