As signs of autumn can be found across the Rensselaer campus, falling leaves and some cool weather days, the campus will be buzzing with activity as thousands of Rensselaer families are expected to visit the campus Oct. 23-25 to celebrate Family Weekend.
For more than 60 years, parents, family members, alumni, and friends have made the trek to the Troy campus to attend Family Weekend. “This year the theme for Family Weekend is ‘190 years of Family’—celebrating not only the memories of Rensselaer families and students, but also 63 years of this amazing campus tradition,” said Shante Brown, assistant dean 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—hosted by the Office of the Student Experience—typically attracts thousands to campus to experience the season and life at Rensselaer. Last year, more than 4,000 people attended.
This year, students and families will have an opportunity to get a glimpse of life at Rensselaer through a variety of cultural offerings and performances, academic classroom programs, tours, dinners, film screenings, and athletic events, along with events taking place in the Troy community.
On Saturday, Oct. 25, President Shirley Ann Jackson will deliver a presentation of the progress and accomplishments taking place at Rensselaer. The talk will take place in the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center Concert Hall, from 9 to 9:30 a.m.
The 21st annual Honors Convocation ceremony, which celebrates the outstanding academic achievements of students and faculty, will immediately follow in the same location.
Brown noted that the schedule is designed with CLASS in mind—with designations for each class theme. “This year we are collaborating with the Rensselaer Union, Residence Life, Athletics, the Office of the Provost and Enrollment Management in addition to many others,” Brown said. “The Student Experience and First-Year Experience Offices are very excited to host this event with collaborations from across campus with multiple departments to allow us to plan bigger, and better every year.”
Highlights of this year’s events include a plethora of student performances and exhibitions, family and class-focused dinners, partnerships with student organizations, academic and center open houses, and movie screenings.
On the playing fields, events include the men’s football game vs. Hobart College. In addition, individuals can lend their support in attending the men’s hockey vs. Bentley University and women’s hockey game vs. University of Connecticut.
For individuals interested in getting a glimpse of the diverse cultures on campus, the annual International Festival event will showcase over 25 different countries and cultures representing the Rensselaer Union international student organizations and individual members of campus. The event will be held Saturday, Oct. 25, in the Rensselaer Union McNeil Room from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Families also will have an opportunity to attend the annual Fall Fest Celebration. The free community event features student demonstrations, entertainment, and hands-on activities for individuals of all ages. Area businesses and community organizations also participate. The event will take place at the East Campus Athletic Village from noon to 2 p.m. “Autumn in Troy is truly a special time,” Brown said. “We want everyone to find a way to share in the culture and rich traditions of Rensselaer.”