Visitors fill campus for Parents Weekend

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A backstage tour of BYU, hula dancing, learning the Haka, pictures with Cosmo, a 5K race, hiking the Y, a luau and of course the Cougars winning a football game were all part of the many activities BYU students and their parents were able to participate in this past weekend.

BYU alumni student president, Richard Bean, said that more than 1,200 people participated in parents weekend this year. Parents traveling to Provo from around the country arrived to a weekend full of activities.

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Austin and Quincey Savage run in a 5K as part of Parents Weekend.
Starting with a humanitarian service project in the Wilkinson Student Center, Ben Mennis, from Norwich, N.Y., and his mother Pam dove right into the weekend’s activities. Mennis and his mother participated in the luau and we able to get a picture with both BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson and Cosmo.

Mennis, who came to BYU only two weeks after returning home from a mission to Peru, was glad to be able to spend time with family and also enjoyed watching his mother learn to Hula dance and do the Haka.

“It’s just fun. … I don’t even care what we do, I’m just glad I get to chill with my Mom for a little,” Mennis said.

Pam Mennis loved every part of her parents weekend visit and is happy that her oldest son is attending BYU.

“It makes me jealous that I didn’t get to go here,” she said.

Bret and Brenda Collette came from El Dorado Hills, Calif., to visit their daughrer, Brittany. Among the families highlights were the library and special collections area, the BYU creamery and an aerial tour from atop the Spencer W. Kimball building. The Collettes said they appreciated the time they were able to spend together with their daughter.

“We have seven kids at home, so this is our one-on-one time,” the Collettes said.

Families like the Collettes get to experience sending a child to BYU for the first time.

However, other families come from longstanding BYU traditions. Donald and Paula Williams, visiting from Las Vegas, met at BYU as students and started their family tradition then. They have one son and a daughter-in-law at BYU, a daughter and son-in-law at BYU-Idaho, a high school senior who turned his application to BYU in on Monday and a 14-year-old son who says that he wants to go to BYU someday.

Parents weekend gets bigger every year and events like the 5k prove it, with more than 250 people participating in the walk/run and more than 40 volunteers, parents and students. Diane Light, a student in microbiology from Monument, Colo., had her mom and her aunt come to campus and they all ran the race together.

“We are so excited,” said Pattee Speck, Light’s mother. “Its all part of the experience.”

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