Family Weekend at the Institute

Tech’s Colorguard welcomes families to campus in front of the Student Center. The event helps student integrate to campus life. // Photo by Alexey Tatarinov Student Publications

Last weekend, campus was full and bustling with parents and families from all across the country and the world coming together to spend quality time with their Tech students. The Institute hosted its 35th annual Family Weekend, an event students and parents alike have been anticipating since the beginning of the semester — especially out-of-state students like Ariana Paris, first-year ME. 

“I have not seen my parents in three months, so I am very excited for Parents’ Weekend,” Paris said. Coming from northern Virginia, Paris was excited to show her family the Institute and Atlanta as a whole.  “I am going to the Georgia Aquarium with my parents to take them sightseeing around Atlanta. I am also planning to take my parents to the tailgate before the game,” Paris said. 

The weekend kicked off last Friday afternoon, Oct. 23 with tours and information sessions across the campus showing visiting families what Tech has to offer. Information sessions such as “Global Opportunities at Tech” and “Progress and Service through Civic Engagement” showed the academic and professional support and opportunities available to students at the Institute. 

Information sessions included more niche and light-hearted topics such as “The Lego Brick: More Than Toy” and “Tech Traditions.” 

In addition to these information sessions, the many different colleges hosted school receptions, ushering families to learn about the academics at the Institute. 

“The goals of Parents Weekend were to make parents feel more engaged with liberal arts education at Georgia Tech and to present families with an opportunity to engage with their students and their professors,” said Divali Legore, fourth-year PUBP. 

These individual school receptions allowed for a greater level of communication between students, families and faculty, showing the unique features of each academic track at the Institute. 

The receptions also showed more than academics allowing student organizations from honor societies to competition clubs to present themselves to families. The receptions also offered an opportunity for families and students to connect with other students and families in their programs. 

“The afternoon consisted of a talk from the dean and engagement with students in the yard outside of the savant building. The event culminated in a raffle for families and faculty … Students had the opportunity to introduce their parents to their community at Tech,” Legore said.

Families also had the opportunity to tour some of the facilities utilized by students. Specialized tours took place in the Invention Studio, Library and Robotarium showing the workspaces across campus which are available for use to students of all majors.  

Friday evening came with offerings of various activities, including sessions of pottery painting at Paper and Clay and rock climbing at the CRC, showing families the nonacademic side of Tech and how their students can destress and spend their free time. During this time, the “Creator’s Collective” took place on the Arts Plaza, with performances from students’ music groups offering the perfect ambiance, inviting families to explore the different arts-based student organizations present at the Arts Plaza. 

The evening saw more fun bonding activities, including “Family Weekend at the Georgia Aquarium,” which allowed students and families to explore the largest aquarium in the United States and displayed the Institute as a part of the larger metro Atlanta community, a characteristic distinct and vital to life at Tech.  

Saturday brought Game Day and related activities. With kickoff at noon, the day started bright and early, with tailgates beginning at 9 a.m. In addition to the “Helluva Block Party” which included a performance by country and R&B artist Mickey Guyton, families were able to have a photo-op with the Ramblin Wreck in front of Campanile Fountain and enjoy a tailgate on Tech Green offering a selection of barbecue food, game day accessories and backyard games and activities.  

The football game brought in a large crowd filling Bobby Dodd Stadium at Hyundai Field on all sides, cheering on the Institute’s Jackets against the Boston College Eagles. Families were treated to a competitive, action-packed game. Though the game ended with a loss, the energy in the stadium was unmatched, with families joining their students in chanting and singing, encouraging the players on the field.   

Sunday morning concluded Family Weekend with a Jazz Brunch featuring Dean Stein at the Georgia Tech Hotel offering a relaxing and sweet farewell to family and friends departing from the action-packed weekend. Though Family Weekend has come to an end, the campus is still abuzz. The Institute’s Homecoming Week started during the same Sunday that saw Family Weekend come to an end, offering students more activity and action in anticipation of Homecoming.