Parent Weekend has become a fall tradition with mothers, fathers, brother and sisters flocking to the Salem campus for a peek at their students’ lives.
On Nov. 5 and 6, more than 75 families took advantage of the opportunity to spend time with their sons and daughters, meet professors, listen to jazz and even get a head start on financial aid for the next school year.
“When we dropped Julia off, I was overwhelmed by everything there was to do,” said Jim Kross, who drove from Little Rock, Wash. with his wife, Krista to spend time with their freshman daughter. “It’s been good to see how she has settled in and to meet some of the people she talks about.”
The rush of new student orientation and the anxiety it can produce for incoming students and their parents is nothing new, said Cathy Downs, an administrative assistant for Student Life and Parent Weekend coordinator. This is one of many reasons the weekend event is so popular.
“It’s a time for parents to connect with other students and meet who their sons and daughters have made friends with,” she said. “When you get together with your kids and their friends, you’ll meet their parents and form common bonds.”
Families attended classes and Kross laughed as spoke about being put to work by a professor as his freshman daughter took an exam. Afterward, the trio ate lunch in the dining hall and sipped coffee at Common Grounds as they prepared for an evening of activity including a jazz performance and the Lumberjack Games.
“Participation in all of the events we offered was way up,” Downs said. “It was the best attendance we’ve had in a long time.” As she looked through reviews submitted by family members, she said one comment appeared over and over.
“They said the staff, faculty and students were all so friendly and outgoing,” she said. “They really felt welcome and had a great time.”