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Buckeye life shared at Family Weekend

Lindsey Fox / Asst. multimedia editor

From looking into the lives of their students from their classroom work to the fun of game day, parents and families got to see what it is like to be a Buckeye at Parent and Family Weekend 2011.

“We want to give students and their families an opportunity to connect in the Ohio State experience,” said Ryan Lovell, director of parent, family and alumni relations. “Family is important to students, especially when they are away for college.”

Parent and Family Weekend allowed students to show their families what life at Ohio State is like through more than 20 different events Friday to Sunday.

“We believe this connection between student and family is an essential part of student success at Ohio State,” Lovell said. “Our schedule is designed to foster this understanding and allow for connections to be made within families.”

While all events for the weekend had good attendance, some stood out more than others, such as a conversation with the university president.

President E. Gordon Gee hosted a conversation with students and families on Saturday morning.

“He speaks with our guests and also takes questions from the crowd. They love this interaction with Dr. Gee,” Lovell said.

There are many different lunch options but some are special to the families, such as the Distant Buckeyes lunch. Held for Legacy Students, which are students whose parents, grandparents, brothers, or sisters went to OSU, this lunch is for those students who are not from Ohio. The First Generation lunch for students being the first of their family to attend college.

“The program at each is specific to the population present and these are very popular with guests,” Lovell said.

Carlie Rice, a first-year in exploration, attended the First Generation Lunch with her parents and said it was nice with a lot of good speakers.

“The weekend has been very spirited but the best part was getting to really see the campus and spend time with my family,” Rice said.

Another event was about going behind the scenes at Ohio Stadium. Families were able to walk on the sidelines, view the field from one of the 81 suites and travel up to the collegiate press box.

Jena Parker, a fourth-year in security and intelligence, said she enjoyed the different events throughout the weekend.

“Just showing my parents around campus … showing them the Oval and where my classes are,” Parker said. “Letting them see the things I take for granted every day.”

The hallmark event of the weekend is probably the Game Watch Party and Buckeye Fan Fest, Lovell said.

“The Fan Fest, which is hosted by Recreational Sports and their partners, gets the crowd excited for the game,” Lovell said. “It’s a cool pep rally-type event that leads to the Game Watch.

“The band and spirit squad are great partners who come out and entertain the crowd. We have fun games and prizes during the commercial breaks. It’s as close to a game day experience as we can simulate for families and they have a great time.”

With almost 1,300 families, the weekend had just more than 3,000 people attending the different events, according to Lovell.

Lovell said students and family members are encouraged to make the most out of the weekend.

“Each year we invite family members to make (the weekend) theirs,” Lovell said. “Share the Ohio State experience as you spend time connecting with your student, interacting with faculty and staff and experiencing what makes being a Buckeye so special.”

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