Family Weekend gives parents glimpse into Marquette life

This weekend Marquette will host its annual Family Weekend, giving students the chance to show their parents a slice of college life.

According to Molly Dinolfo, director of the Parents Association, Family Weekend is designed to help families see what college life is like at Marquette.

“The purpose is for families to spend time with each other, and possibly meet other families doing the same thing,” Dinolfo said.

The weekend begins Friday afternoon with a reception hosted by the deans of each college. Following that is “Beyond the Boards With Buzz,” which Dinolfo likens to a huge pep rally for the basketball season held in the Alumni Memorial Union.

“We’re transforming the ballroom into an experience like the one they would have as a Fanatic,” Dinolfo said.

She added that men’s basketball coach Buzz Williams would be present, along with the team, cheerleaders and mascots.

While multiple tours, workshops and events are offered Saturday, Dinolfo highlighted “Jazz with the Jesuits” as one that would stand out. The event will be held under the Raynor Memorial Libraries Bridge, and features a jazz band alongside the Jesuit community, who will be socializing with students and their families.

Dinolfo said in previous years this was referred to simply as a “Jesuit Reception.” She said the new name better reflects the laid-back nature of the event.

“It’s very casual, just a chance for families to mingle with the Jesuits,” Dinolfo said.

Among that evening’s events are a Mass at Gesu Church, a dinner preceding the evening showing of “Censored on Final Approach,” the new performance at the Helfaer Theatre and a Milwaukee-style fish fry with ComedySportz. Dinolfo said the ComedySportz dinner is expected to host 800 people, with walk-in reservations still available.

The event will be closed out by a Sunday brunch, where College of Education Dean Bill Henk will deliver the keynote address.

Kirsten DeGuzman, sophomore in the College of Health Sciences, said she likes Family Weekend more for the overall atmosphere than the specific events.

“My parents both went here,” DeGuzman said. “So we don’t do as many of the Marquette events.”

DeGuzman said her parents live in the Milwaukee area, which makes it easier for her to pick and choose which events to attend. For her, Family Weekend is more a time to see her family than a time for all of them to participate in the campus’ scheduled events.

“A lot of Family Weekend is for people whose families live far away,” DeGuzman said.

For some students, however, Family Weekend only reminds them of how far away their families truly are. Addy Drencheva, a senior in the College of Communication, feels this more than most, coming from Bulgaria.

“It’s an important event,” Drencheva said. “It’s just sad for me.”

This is Drencheva’s second year at Marquette, having gone to a college in Seattle for two years. Last year for Family Weekend, she said she went to Chicago with some friends, so this will be her first Family Weekend on campus.

Drencheva said she does believe Family Weekend is an important event for students whose families live close enough to attend.

“I can see it being important for families with freshmen and sophomores,” Drencheva said. “It’s that bridge that connects family and college.”