At Family Weekend, Parents Join Students to Savor Campus Life

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Traveling to New York from as far away as Michigan, Texas, and California, over 300 St. John’s families gathered at the University’s Queens campus on October 11–13 for the annual Family Weekend.

“Family Weekend is a wonderful opportunity for parents and families to see first-hand what their students experience at the University and allows them to understand their role as an integral part of our St. John’s family,” said Kathryn T. Hutchinson, Ph.D., vice president for student affairs.

View the photo gallery from Family Weekend

Weekend events kicked off Friday evening with a women’s volleyball game against BIG EAST rival Georgetown at Carnesecca Arena and, next door at the Little Theatre, the premiere of the musical Working, by the University’s Chappell Players.

On Saturday morning, students and their families began the day’s festivities with brunch in Montgoris Dining Hall. Morning activities also included an information session about the University’s popular Global Studies program. That afternoon, food, music, and games filled the D’Angelo Center Plaza as the University held its Family Weekend Carnival and Fall Festival.

For many parents, the weekend confirmed everything  they had expected of campus life at St. John’s.  For example, Frank and Evie Lengetti drove in from Mullica Hill, NJ, to spend time with their son, Frankie Lengetti  ’17TCB, an actuarial science major in The Peter J. Tobin College of Business. “We’re having a great time,” said his father, enjoying a frozen yogurt from the carnival. “We’re so happy that he’s here.” His mother agreed. “There’s a lot of wholesome fun and a real sense of community,” she said.

Reflecting on the first time he and his family set foot on the Queens campus, Lengetti added, “My parents came with me to an open house and I was so excited—I knew this was the place for me,” he said. “Now that they’re here with me at Family Weekend, they really can see how happy I am with my decision.”

Guests also had the opportunity to attend alumni baseball, softball, and lacrosse games, plus an alumni tennis match. On Saturday evening, the Residence Village staged a New York-style block party, complete with hot dogs, pretzels, and popcorn. Across campus at Belson Stadium and Carnesecca Arena, families had their choice of attending either a women’s soccer game against the Villanova Wildcats or a women’s volleyball game, also against the Wildcats.

“I’m so happy to see my parents—it’s the first time I’ve seen them since August,” said Brelyn Williams ’17C, a hospitality management major from Georgetown, TX.  Her father, Eric Williams, was most impressed by the “intimate feeling” on campus. “There’s a close-knit atmosphere here—more than I thought there would be,” he said. His wife, Tanya Williams, concurred. “It really is a pretty campus and so close to the city,” she said.

The weekend concluded on Sunday with Mass at St. Thomas More Church and a matinee performance of Working.

“Early on, we thought it might rain, but the weather held off and this year’s Family Weekend was a huge success,” said James Salnave, associate dean for student development. “We had nearly 1,100 students and family members in attendance, so St. John’s was certainly alive with activity. Best of all, we were able to give parents a glimpse of what college life is like for their children.”

“Family involvement plays a critical role in supporting a college student’s academic and personal development,” Hutchinson said. “We are pleased to have such a large number of families join us this weekend and experience life as a Johnnie!”

The Staten Island campus of St. John’s will host its own Family Weekend, October 25–27.