The university was buzzing with activity as thousands of Rensselaer families visited campus Oct. 21-23 to celebrate Family Weekend.
“This year the theme for Family Weekend was ‘I love RPI’— celebrating not only the memories of Rensselaer families and students, but also this amazing campus tradition,” said Shante Brown, assistant dean and parent liaison in the Office of the First-Year Experience. “Family Weekend is designed to not only reinforce our students’ love of Rensselaer, but to also foster the same feeling of community in family members. The annual event is one we value as an important part of the journey that students and their families go through. The weekend is a great time for families to reconnect with their student in the context of their life at Rensselaer, while getting to know their friends, their living and learning environments, and their daily routines.”
The annual event—co-hosted by the First-Year Experience and Student Success offices—typically attracts thousands to campus to experience the season and life at Rensselaer and the surrounding Capital Region community. Overall, the event brings more than 4,000 people to campus.
More than 60 events were held, in collaboration with the Rensselaer Union, the Office of the Registrar, Residence Life, Athletics, the Office of the Provost, Enrollment Management, and more. During the three-day event, students and their families had the opportunity to glimpse life at Rensselaer through a variety of cultural offerings and performances, academic classroom programs, tours, dinners, film screenings, the annual Punkin Chunkin’ competition, and athletic events. The weekend was supported by more than 80 undergraduate and graduate student, faculty, and staff volunteers.
Family Weekend is designed to not only reinforce our students’ love of Rensselaer, but to also foster the same feeling of community in family members.”—Shante Brown
On Friday, John Kolb ’79, vice president for information services and technology and chief information officer, discussed the history and traditions of Rensselaer.
On Saturday, President Shirley Ann Jackson delivered a presentation about recent progress and accomplishments at Rensselaer. The 23rd annual Honors Convocation ceremony, which celebrates the outstanding academic achievements of students and faculty, followed her talk. Honors Convocation also recognized 205 Rensselaer Medalists from the Rensselaer Class of 2020. This year marks the 100-year anniversary of the Rensselaer Medal, which honors the top math and science students from around the country.
On the playing fields, events included the men’s football game vs. Worcester Polytechnic Institute, with a special half-time show led by the Rensselaer Reserve Officers’ Training Corps in honor of Military Appreciation Day. In addition, sporting events included men’s hockey vs. Niagara University, women’s field hockey vs. Vassar, and men’s soccer vs. Bard College.
The annual International Festival showcased over 25 different countries and cultures representing the Rensselaer Union international student organizations and individual members of campus. Families also had the opportunity to attend the annual Fall Fest Celebration, a free community event that featured student demonstrations, entertainment, and hands-on activities for individuals of all ages.