Being away from home is hard on every student, even if some don’t admit it. Luckily, Family Weekend allows families to visit their students and get a taste of their life as a Mountaineer in the Gunnison Valley.
“It’s a great way for families to see what [students] are doing and what we provide,” said Lauren Echevarria, special programs coordinator for the Leadership, Engagement, and Development Office at Western, and the main organizer for the event. Program Council and Wilderness Pursuits also helped run the weekend.
This year’s event kicked off Friday, October 28 and included three days of musical events, sports, trivia and programs unique to Western like Wilderness Pursuits.
“It’s very welcoming here,” said Karen Pickens, mother of Shaun Pickens. They dined on a complimentary pancake breakfast Saturday morning before heading to the Mountaineer Bowl to see Western's football team take on Colorado State University – Pueblo.
Shaun’s father Bill Pickens has been impressed with Western's Family Weekends over the years. The Pickens parents admitted their other son attends another state university and that Family Weekend just isn’t up to par with Western’s welcoming atmosphere.
At the pancake breakfast, families discussed the second night of Quigley Hall’s dedication concerts. It was quite the hit with families.
“[The concert] was just amazing,” said Cynthia Murphy, mother of Malcolm Murphy. The Murphys also had gone to the football game to see their son perform with the Western pep band.
While Cynthia and her husband Paul enjoyed their meal, their sons skateboarded around Western’s beautiful campus on the clear fall morning.
Western student Ally Hammett and her parents also chose to enjoy the Gunnison weather and spent the morning exploring Hartman Rocks. Following their time at the Dueling Pianos event, Hammett treated her family to dinner at Mad Jacks.
“It’s a great experience for students to show their parents how they are living. It also gives [students] an incentive to clean our rooms up,” Hammett joked.
The weekend quickly came to a close and before they knew it, families were hugging goodbye.
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