Parents Weekend: Connecting students and parents with BYU

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Parents Weekend is an annual event where students and parents together participate in activities connecting them to BYU. This year’s event will start on Thursday, Sept. 29, and end on Saturday, Oct. 1.

Curtis Isaak, services coordinator for Student Alumni and Parents Program, said this is the 16th annual Parents Weekend. He said a majority of the parents who come are alumni who haven’t been back much since they were students themselves.

Rachel Miller
Student Rachel Miller has attended Parents Weekend in past years with her father, John, and stepmother, Melody. They showed off their BYU pride in this 2011 photo. (Rachel Miller)

“It’s a great way to reconnect to BYU, see what’s happened, and see how things have changed,” Isaak said. “They get to be with their children and see how they’re doing in a student environment.”

It’s still important for parents to see what their kids are up to, even though the students are adults now, Isaak said. Having parents in town allows students to show off the campus and activities they’ve been participating in, and it doesn’t hurt when parents are willing to fill their children’s refrigerators with groceries.

“Just because students are here at college, they still have their parents who love them and are concerned about them,” Isaak said. 

There are several factors that go into planning Parents Weekend. Isaak said many of the parents who attend have freshmen children, so the event has to be far enough into the semester that parents weren’t just here for New Student Orientation. But it can’t be too close to Thanksgiving either, Isaak said.

Another requirement is that a home football game falls on that weekend. October is the ideal month, Isaak said, but there is only one home game in October this year, and it’s the homecoming game. This is why this year’s Parents Weekend coincides with conference weekend, Isaak said.

“Some parents appreciate this, because they can go to Parents Weekend and General Conference,” Isaak said. “We do have a 5K early Saturday morning, but everyone’s home in time to watch conference.” 

Parents Weekend includes behind-the-scene tours to places many students normally aren’t allowed to go. This includes the campus tour from on top of the Kimball Tower or going on the theater stage and to the back of the costume shop. Parents Weekend will also showcase some of BYU’s performing groups, like Noteworthy and Living Legends. 

“Parents get to see and experience the different areas of BYU,” Isaak said.

BYU commercial music junior Mallory Wynne, from Blackwood, New Jersey, is following her mom’s footsteps by attending BYU. The two are not attending Parents Weekend this year, but Wynne said her mom is nostalgic when it comes to BYU.

“My mom always wants Brick Oven cookies and the chocolate-covered cinnamon bears at the bookstore,” Wynne said.

Parents Weekend calendar:

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5:45 p.m.: Cougar Family barbecue featuring Noteworthy

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  • Morning: Hike the Y
  • Museum of Art gallery stroll
  • Behind-the-scenes tours
  • Tailgate featuring Living Legends
  • 8:15 p.m.: BYU vs. Toledo football game.
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8 a.m.: Family walk/run 5K

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