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Miscellaneous News

From the Spring 2011 Parent Newsletter

Parents Weekend 2011

Mark your calendar for Parents Weekend 2011, Sept. 30–Oct. 2. The three-day weekend will feature distinct and engaging activities each day.

Friday will focus on college and academic programs. Useful campus resources will be available for you and your student to learn about, and workshops and activities will be offered on topics such as studying abroad and career planning.

On Saturday, you and your student are invited to explore campus life. Various University art and athletic talents will be available for you to enjoy, including a showing of the away game featuring the Gophers football team taking on the Michigan Wolverines. On both Friday and Saturday nights, you are invited to stay up late for Gophers After Dark activities with your student.

Things wind down on Sunday, as you and your student will have the opportunity to explore the local neighborhoods and great sights of Minneapolis.

The schedule is not yet final. A committee of students is filling in the details. More on the Parents Weekend schedule and registration will be included in upcoming emails (sign up for the parent listserv by sending your email address to and in an August mailing.

Commencement ceremonies

In the spring, each college at the University of Minnesota schedules its own commencement ceremony. The separate ceremonies allow a more personal experience as students gather with their classmates and share the stage with their own faculty and administrators. The number of ceremonies, however, means that graduation events take place throughout May.

Northrop Auditorium will be closed this spring because of renovation work. All commencement programs will be moved to different sites. Students eligible for graduation will receive their commencement time, date, and place from their college.

President's graduation reception

All University of Minnesota spring graduates and their families are invited to an open house reception, hosted by President Bob Bruininks and his wife, Susan Hagstrum, at Eastcliff, the home of University presidents.

Two receptions are scheduled on Sunday, May 15:

  • 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
  • 5:30 to 7 p.m.

To make reservations or receive additional information, call 612-624-6868 or email

GradFest '11

GradFest, the University's annual one-stop event for commencement, gives spring graduates the chance to take care of all their graduation planning needs at one time.
Parents are invited to attend with their graduating seniors as they

  • Pick up their cap and gown
  • Order graduation announcements
  • Select a class ring
  • Pose for a commencement portrait
  • Purchase a diploma frame
  • Sign up for the U of M Alumni Association
  • Have their resume evaluated
  • Find out how to get ready for graduate school

GradFest is Wednesday, March 23, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Thursday, March 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Great Hall at Coffman Union. There is no charge for the event.

Email alerts

Parents can receive biweekly email messages from the Parent Program with timely information and talking points for helping their student.

To sign up, send your email address to

Classes without Quizzes features everyday science

Learn about bees, whole grains, clean water, sustainable buying, garden myths, and more at the 10th annual Classes without Quizzes, April 2, on the St. Paul campus. The event includes activities for children.

Keynote speaker will be U of M professor Marla Spivak, world-renowned expert on bees. Professor Spivak was recently awarded a MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant for her work.

For details and how to register, Alumni and Friends.