GVSU preps for beach-themed Family Weekend

By Rachel Huck | 10/1/15 8:59am

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GVL/Archive Jim Dostine, Madison Dostine (GVSU Student), Jackie Dostine participate in family weekend 2014.


Campus is expected to be bustling with a wide array of events this Friday through Sunday as Grand Valley State University hosts the annual Family Weekend.

“Family weekend originated in the 80s as a way to get families on campus to enjoy all that Grand Valley has to offer, and to meet other families,” said LeaAnn Tibbe, associate director of student life at GVSU.

Events to suit all ages and interests will be available - from Saturday’s football game against Hillsdale to the Meadows Golf Outing, the art at GVSU tour and lunch, the Shakespeare Festival, the W. G. Jackson vessel cruise and the 5K race hosted by campus recreation.

“The response this year has been exceptional,” Tibbe said. “Reserved seating for the football game is sold out, along with several of the other options offered through student life.”

Aside from select events, Family Weekend is completely free to take part in.

“We’ve also added Sustainable You, a health expo on Saturday, an interdenominational worship service on Sunday morning celebrating Campus Ministry’s 50th year on campus and an outdoor movie, "The Duff," on Sunday night,” Tibbe said.

No registration is needed in order to attend Family Weekend, unless it is required to order tickets for a specific event, such as Saturday’s football game.

“(Families) get a chance to see more of Grand Valley and spend quality time with their student, all while doing fun events and activities,” said Marissa Pulsipher, member of Laker Traditions Team and coordinator of Family Weekend. “Family Weekend is a great opportunity for families to reconnect with their student that has moved away from home.”

Different student organizations will host an abundance of activities designed for younger children at the Kirkhof Center "Sandbar," an area for kids located outside of the Kirkhof Center. Events will include bracelet making, snow cones and cookie decorating.

“We welcome everyone,” Pulsipher said. “We tried to make sure the schedule was full of events that could reach many age groups.

“I love Grand Valley and have enjoyed my experience here over the last three years," Pulsipher said. "My parents have heard me talk endlessly about all of the opportunities I have gained from this university, but I want them to be able to see it and experience it with me. This is why I urge families to attend. They will fall in love with Grand Valley, too.”

Complimentary shuttle rides will be available during the day on Saturday for older or disabled family members.

“Bringing younger siblings to Family Weekend may also give them an idea about what college life is like and encourage them to do well in school so they can attend GVSU some day,” said Lauren Robbins, co-coordinator of Family Weekend and member of the Laker Traditions Team.

The weekend aims to offer students and families an opportunity to enjoy all that GVSU and its surrounding cities has to offer.

“It is definitely a fun way for parents to experience GVSU with a little more purpose than on freshman move-in day,” Robbins said. “ArtPrize is currently in full-swing downtown, students have a great reason to tour GVSU's Pew Campus in addition to enjoying ArtPrize.”

Families are not just limited to GVSU's campus in Allendale, as there are associated activities taking place in downtown Grand Rapids and Muskegon.

Family Weekend will take place Oct. 2 through Oct 4. For a full list of activities and events available throughout the weekend, visit www.gvsu.edu/familyweekend.

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