Family Weekend

Family Weekend at Western
October 16-18, 2015

This weekend is an opportunity for families and students to come together to take part in a variety of activities at Western State Colorado University. On Friday night, the LEAD Office & Program Council are hosting "Canvas & Cocktails" and Colorado Beer Tasting. Dueling Pianos will entertain you Saturday night with a special blend of hilarity, excitement and musical favorites for guests of all ages. And, be sure to join us after the football game on Saturday afternoon for an epic parents versus kids game of Bubble Ball in the Mountaineer Field House. In addition, there will be numerous other activities planned by on-campus and community organizations including: free Wilderness Pursuit trips, athletic events, a pancake breakfast, music performances and much more. Please join us for all of these events!

There is no need to register for the weekend in advance, but some events do require pre-registration, which will open at the Family Weekend Welcome Table at noon on Friday, October 16 in the University Center. More events will be listed once details are confirmed; please check this web page again for a complete listing.

Event Schedule

Friday, October 16
  • Family Weekend Welcome Table and Excursions Sign-ups • Noon to 5 pm • University Center
    There is no need to register for the weekend in advance, but we would like to meet you and say "Welcome to Western!"  We will have information for you about Western State Colorado University and the Gunnison Valley and a complete schedule of events. You will also sign up here for activities that require pre-registration (Canvas & Cocktails & Saturday's Wilderness Pursuits trips).  

Campus Tour
Leaving at 3 pm from the University Center Front Desk

  • Volleyball-Western vs. Black Hills State • 7 pm • Paul Wright Gym
  • Family Weekend Concert • 7:30 pm • Aspinall-Wilson Center (formerly listed as located at Taylor Auditorium, but it's under renovation) • Free Event!!!
    Please join Music Department faculty and students for this free performance.
  • LEAD Office presents: Colorado Beer Tasting • 7:30 pm • University Center South Ballroom • Donations encouraged!
  • Canvas & Cocktails • 7:30 pm • University Center North Ballroom • Space is limited and advanced registration is required, which will open at noon on Friday, Oct. 16 at the Family Weekend Welcome Table.

Participants under 21 are welcome to attend both Canvas & Cocktails and the Colorado Beer Tasting. Alcoholic beverages will be available  for purchase for individuals for anyone 21 and over.

  • Casino Night • 8:30 pm • University Center Ballroom • Donations encouraged!
Saturday, October 17
  • Community Pancake Breakfast • 8 to 10 am • University Center • Free Event!!!
    Start the busy day off with Western family and friends while enjoying a filling breakfast of homemade pancakes and “High Altitude” Dixieland Jazz. This is a great opportunity to meet Residence Life professional staff, the few people that see your student on a daily basis now that they are in college. Hosted by Student Affairs.

The Western Bookstore
The Western Bookstore will be open 8 am to 1 pm and after the football game until 5 pm.

  • Outdoor Adventures with Wilderness Pursuits • 9 am to Noon • Departs from the University Center • Free Event!!!
    Get outside with Wilderness Pursuits, Western State Colorado University's own student-led outdoor program! Space is limited and these trips fill quickly, so reserve your space at the Family Weekend Welcome Table in the University Center, beginning at Noon on Friday, Oct. 16. Transportation and technical equipment will be provided. Please bring a snack, raincoat, warm clothes, water, sunscreen, comfortable (closed-toe) shoes, and of course, your camera.
    … Hartman Rocks, Family-Rock Climbing
    This trip will take you to a Gunnison’s outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, Hartman Rocks. This desert landscape offers the perfect environment for beginner and intermediate rock climbers.
    … Bambi’s Trail, Scenic Hiking
    This hike will be a three-mile round trip hike on a gentle trail. This is one of the most scenic areas at Hartman Rocks, providing excellent views of the Gunnison Valley.
    … Hartman Rocks, Mountain Biking
    This trip will introduce you to some of the best single-track riding in Colorado. Remember that we are at almost 8,000 feet, so you will need to be physically fit to enjoy this trip. Participants must be at least 5’4” to use a WP mountain bike.
    … Taylor Canyon, Family-Rock Climbing
    Explore the beauty of Taylor Canyon as you climb perfect crags across from the Taylor River. This location is great for beginners as well as the more advanced climber. (This trip will be from 9am to 2 pm.)
  • 65th W Mountain Race • 10 am
    It's time to wear the crimson and slate and show your Mountaineer pride! Come support the Mountaineer Cross Country Team! Celebrating its 65th year dating back to 1951, the W mountain race is the oldest running race in the state of Colorado.  The “W Mountain” race was started by Western State students along with U.S. Olympic Ski Coach Sven Wiik as preseason preparation for his team.  The ski team continued to put on the race until 2007 when the Track and Field team took over the W mountain tradition. The 2.8 mile “W Mountain” race starts at approximately 7750' and meanders along a dirt road up to the top of Tenderfoot Mountain at 8,671’, which is the home of the Western “W”, the largest collegiate emblem in the world.  The race annually brings in 150+ competitors to take on the high altitude challenge
  • The Empty Nest: A Syndrome, a Gift, or a Journey?  • 9:30 am • University Center • Free Event!!!
    Are you a recent empty nester, or soon to be one? The good news is that you are not alone and life without kids at home can be an amazing time of reconnection, discovery, and joy! Even though you may feel sad and lonely at times, the vast majority of empty-nesters are happier now than ever before! Dr. Melanie Hulbert, Associate Professor of Sociology, will share her research, insight, and stories to encourage you in this new stage of life. Join us after the Pancake Breakfast!

Campus Tour
Leaving at 10 am from the University Center Front Desk

  • Family Weekend Autumn Harvest Luncheon • 11 am - 1 pm • University Center Patio
    Parents of students with meal plans receive a complimentary lunch.
  • Football — Western Mountaineers vs. New Mexico Highland University • 1 pm • Mountaineer Bowl

Football Game Admission Fees

  • Western Student w/ Valid ID: FREE
  • Adults 18+: $10
  • Students (AGES 5-17): $5
  • Senior Citizens: $5
  • Kids under 5: FREE.
  • MAA Members w/ card: FREE.

  • Bubble Ball Tournament • 4 pm • Mountaineer Field House • Free Event!!!
    Parents versus kids=HILARIOUS!!!!
  • Volleyball-Western vs. South Dakota School of Mines • 7 pm • Paul Wright Gym
  • Dueling Pianos • 7 pm • University Center Ballroom • Free Event!!!
    Dueling Pianos will entertain you a special blend of hilarity, excitement and musical favorites for guests of all ages. Hosted by Program Council.
Sunday, October 18
  • Soccer-Western vs. UC-Colorado Springs • 1 pm • Gateway Field
Questions? Call the LEAD Office at 970.943.2469 or email Sara Phillips at for more information about any of these events.