Families swarm at fun weekend
Grand Valley State University played host to people of all ages Friday through Sunday during the annual, popular Family Weekend.
“There are events for all ages,” said LeaAnn Tibbe, assistant director of the Office of Student Life.
“What grandparent doesn’t want to come see Grand Valley and all the great things we have to offer?”
Family Weekend allowed parents, siblings and other relatives to experience life at GVSU. The weekend
was jam packed with activities designed to allow students to spend time with their families while
showing off the university. Some events were repeat affairs, while others were fresh experiences.
The weekend started off with its first ever “kickoff event” Friday night when the GVSU Dance Team
performed for students and parents. Their performance was followed by a fashion show hosted by the
bookstore, organized by the GVSU Fashion Club and modeled by sorority and fraternity students.
“The bookstore is great partners with us, and they decided to put on a fashion show to get people
excited about the new fall line,” Tibbe said.
Tibbe has helped organize Family Weekend for the past 15 years and she finds that adding new events
each year keeps families interested and wanting to come back. Aside from the kickoff event, this year
also introduced an Instagram Contest. Students and their families could post creative photos of
themselves around campus with the hashtag “gvsufw13.”
“We’re trying Instagram because we’re finding that students really like to be on social media,” Tibbe
Not all events that took place were sponsored by GVSU. On Friday night, 48 West sponsored the Main
Street Dueling Pianos, which performed in the Grand River Room.
The weekend also saw the return of several consistently popular events, including Saturday’s 5k
After the run/walk, families and students had the opportunity to stop by the Farmer’s Market and
Habitat for Humanity’s Lost and Found sale. The Farmer’s Market offered fresh, local produce, while
the Lost and Found sale took donations in exchange for items that were found on campus.
If a 5k walk/run wasn’t what families were interested in, the ever-popular pancake breakfast was held
with President Haas flipping and serving pancakes to the guests.
One of Saturday’s main events was the Kirkhof Festival, where around 25 different booths were set up,
all of which were advertised games, activities, or food for families to enjoy. Some booths were geared
towards younger attendees, such as a bucket toss and face painting.
Throughout the weekend many more activities were happening around campus. The Renaissance
Faire, sporting events, plays, movie showings, and open climbing at the Climbing Center are just a few
of the additional events that occurred. Overall, the weekend aimed to offer up a variety of activities
meant to appeal to everyone.
Charmaine Vaughn-Holman attended the kickoff event with her daughter, sophomore Madisyn
Ramsey. This was Vaughn-Holman’s second year attending Family Weekend.
“I think (Grand Valley) was a good fit for my daughter,” Vaughn-Holman said.