Willamette University’s offices of student activities and alumni and parent engagement teamed up last weekend to host Family Weekend and Homecoming for the first time. Approximately 1,200 parents, family members and alumni were on campus to celebrate Willamette’s students while giving parents a glimpse of the college experience.
The action-packed weekend featured a variety of activities, some of which included “Mini-University Sessions,” a hike at Silver Falls State Park, a stand-up comedy show, Willamette Theatre’s production of “Dead City,” music concerts, a parents’ reception, home games for women’s volleyball and soccer, and the traditional tailgate party before the Bearcats’ homecoming football game versus George Fox University.
Although the Bearcats fell to the Bruins 28–6, there was much to celebrate at the Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony the night before. Willamette welcomed 18 Bearcats — including longtime swimming coach Skip Kenitzer and 2008 NCAA Division III Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year Sarah Zerzan ’08 — into its most exclusive athletics’ club. The 1974 and 1975 national champion handball teams were also inducted.
“Seeing Bearcats of all ages and interests having fun and connecting is exactly what we’d hoped for when we combined these signature events,” says Tyler Reich ’06, associate vice president for university relations. “We’re excited to build upon this year’s success to make next year’s event even better.”
Reich and Associate Director of Student Activities Emily Morris offer their thanks to everyone across campus who made the weekend a success. They extend special thanks to Family Weekend Coordinator Grace Gautereaux ’20 and the many student volunteers, Tony Perez and the facilities staff, and the teams of employees in student activities, athletics and alumni and parent engagement.