Families enjoy a weekend at W&M

  • A weekend for the familiesFor three days, the families of current students were able to sit in on classes, go to a capella performances, take in canoe rides, and generally enjoy the sites to be found on the Williamsburg campus during William & Mary's annual family weekend.

    Photo by Greg Benson '11

    A weekend for the families
  • A family that paddles togetherFamilies took advantage of the beautiful weather Saturday to explore Lake Matoaka via canoe.

    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

    A family that paddles together
  • Family weekendA picnic lunch enjoying was provided for students and their families on Saturday.

    Photo by Greg Benson '11

    Family weekend
  • Tribe victoryA sold-out Zable Stadium saw the Tribe beat the top-ranked Villanova Wildcats 31-24, and increase their home game winning streak to eight games.

    Photo by Greg Benson '11

    Tribe victory
With the torrential downpours that had been plaguing the campus finally dissipated, parents, siblings, and even a few grandparents of William & Mary students came to campus Oct. 1-3 for family weekend.

For three days, the families of current students were able to sit in on classes, go to a capella performances, take in canoe rides, and generally enjoy the sites to be found on the Williamsburg campus.

“It’s been incredible.” remarked Sam Quinn ’14 after enjoying a picnic lunch Saturday provided for students and their families on the Wren Yard. “I love seeing my family here. All the activities they have planned for us just keep us so busy, but that’s what you gotta love about William & Mary.”

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In addition to the luncheon , the events offered at this year’s family weekend were as spread out as they were diverse. In addition to the much-anticipated football game against a team which was currently ranked at number one, the College offered a show on the Phi Beta Kappa main stage, a golf tournament, and a 5K to benefit the Alan Bukzin Memorial Bone Marrow Drive. Families also had the opportunity to go canoeing in Lake Matoaka.

While it was Quinn’s first family weekend as a student at the College, her mother Michelle had had experienced the annual event several times before. An alumna from the class of ‘82, she had participated in four family weekends as a student and was currently celebrating her sixth as a parent.

“We have five children. One’s already graduated from William & Mary and two are here so it’s been great,” she remarked. “Rachel, our second grader, believes that there’s only one college in the nation and that it’s the College of William and Mary.”

Others at the brunch were having a slightly different experience. Katie Barlow ’14, was there with her mother and father who, despite living only a few miles away, were on campus for the first time as parents of a student. Although he was an alumnus of Virginia Tech, Barlow’s father admitted, “If I hadn’t been an engineer I probably would have loved to have come here.”

Paul Tucker ’12 and his parents spent their Saturday afternoon watching the annual family weekend show of the College’s improvisational comedy group, IT. For Tucker, a longtime fan, this was his first time on stage performing with the ensemble.

The junior mentioned that in addition to watching the group perform, he and his parents were planning on attending a performance by one of the campus’s a capella groups later that night, as well as taking in the football game as part of what he described as a “classic family weekend.”

Tucker’s family was certainly not the only one who decided to include football as part of their weekend in Williamsburg. A sold-out Zable Stadium saw the Tribe beat the top-ranked Villanova Wildcats 31-24, and increase their home game winning streak to eight games. Late in the second quarter, a pass thrown by Villanova quarterback Chris Whitney on a fourth and two at the Tribe’s seventeen yard-line was intercepted by linebacker Dante Cook ’13, who ran back 84 yards for a touchdown in a move that drew cheers from at least three different generations of William & Mary students.

The Tribe’s victory over the defending national champions was a pleasant surprise for many of those in attendance, although some members of the community had been optimistic from the onset.

“I trust, I hope, we will crush the Villanova Wildcats,” President Taylor Reveley remarked on his way to a Tribe tailgate. “But, time will tell.”

The victory at Zable Stadium, impeccable weather, and more than a few visits to the Cheese Shop led several members of the Tribe to describe the weekend as “a perfect, wonderful experience.” However, for many the significance of the event ran deeper than just a pleasant weekend. Jess Benson ’14, who this year became the fourth and final member of her family to join the Tribe after her two parents and older brother, described the weekend as a time of coming together.

“It’s an experience where everyone gets together to share it,” she remarked on her way to the Botetourt complex to show off her newly decorated dorm room .“And I feel like this year I’m taking more of a part in it.”