This year, as she has the past two years, Kelly O’Connor will make the 45-minute trip from Fort Worth to University Park to spend the weekend at SMU.
“I love seeing my kids, I love meeting their friends and I love meeting their friends’ parents,” O’Connor said. “We’ve met some of the nicest people over the past couple of years.”
O’Connor is one of the hundreds of parents who will arrive on campus this Friday and Saturday to spend time with their children. Families — local, out of state and international — will come to SMU for events, entertainment and game-day festivities.
Family Weekend events will kick off Friday with family class visits, academic open-house events, residential commons visits and more. Friday evening, families can go to the annual talent show featuring SMU students.
Saturday morning, the events will continue with a Boulevard Brunch before the 11 a.m. kickoff for the SMU versus Rutgers game.
So far, 3,006 people have bought tickets for the brunch.
Student Foundation Family Weekend Chair Will Slack said the weekend is all about making memories. The theme for this year’s event is Disney.
“We wanted Disney because it is relatable, it’s memorable, and it’s just something people can attach to,” Slack said.
Out of the various events available this weekend, students are most excited about the talent show Friday night and the Taste of Dallas luncheon Friday at noon, according to a survey of 91 SMU students.
The majority of SMU students will have some part in this weekend’s festivities.
Over 64 percent of SMU students will have family visiting this weekend, according to the same survey.
Kaci Rood, a first-year living in Virginia-Snider, is excited to show her parents what she has been doing at SMU thus far.
“It’s just the right amount of time, especially for [first-years],” Said Rood, who’s excited to experience the football game with her family.
“I’m on Mustang 11, so they’re going to see me painted up and get all spirited for the football game,” she said.
Even students who do not have parents attending Family Weekend are eager for the various events.
Over 56 percent of students will participate in Family Weekend regardless of whether or not their parents are coming, according to the same survey of 91 students.
Junior Zain Haidar won’t be spending this weekend with his family, but he still values
“My parents aren’t coming because they live 40 minutes away and so really any weekend is potentially family weekend for them,” said Haidar, who lives in Southlake, Texas.
Slack says students like Haidar do not need to miss out.
“For students with parents who don’t come, I’d say there is still plenty of opportunity to participate,” said Slack, who points out students can easily go to events without their parents.
Haidar believes Family Weekend brings the SMU community together, even if students do not have visiting family.
“Family weekend is important because it helps to foster a sense of campus pride outside of the physical bounds of our university,” he said. “Parents and siblings that come get to take part in the mustang experience and this bolsters our community.”
O’Connor agrees that Family Weekend is valuable.
“I think it’s important, after you spend so much time choosing the school, to see your kids there, and see how happy they are there,” O’Connor said.
Students and families can learn more information about this weekend’s events at smu.edu/sf.