November 07, 2013


With a wide range of special events for parents, students, and siblings, it will be a true focus on the family at WPI when Parents Weekend takes place November 8–10.

The annual event welcomes families to campus and invites them to take part in more than 65 events and activities―such as faculty lectures, musical and theatrical performances, and football―scheduled for all three days.

The weekend is designed to showcase the various ways WPI supports students and bridges relationships with their families, explains Emily Perlow, director of student activities.

“We’ve expanded the number of programs and events offered throughout the weekend.”

“The main objective is to provide an opportunity for families to learn more about life at WPI and to visit with their student,” she says. “Families learn about WPI resources, get an opportunity to experience WPI events and activities, interact with other parents and administrators, and check in with their son or daughter.”

While planning for Parents Weekend is coordinated through the WPI student activities office, it is ultimately a collaborative effort that involves athletics, humanities and arts, student affairs, facilities, Chartwells, advancement, student organizations, and even more, says Perlow.

For added convenience and planning, parents can once again take advantage of the free Guidebook app on iOS, Android, Blackberry, and web-enabled devices. The guide includes the full weekend schedule, maps, Twitter, and more.

This annual event has been going on for more than a decade and has grown over the years, she says.

“We’ve expanded the number of programs and events offered throughout the weekend. In the past it was a one-day affair; now it spans Friday through Sunday. It involves everything from faculty and staff lectures to athletic events, and from performing arts to social and recreational events. This year we are offering some new activities: a yoga class and cupcake demonstration on Sunday, free massages on Saturday, and a candlelight tour on Friday.”

Perlow notes that required pre-registration for ticketed events closed October 30. Parents who wish to participate in unticketed events may do so by registering at the Parents Weekend tables in the Campus Center lobby. Registration takes place Friday from 3 to 8 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. All parents are encouraged to stop by the Campus Center upon arriving on campus.

Parents can benefit greatly from the weekend, Perlow points out, because they learn the university’s role in the “holistic” development of their children.

“We value the holistic development of students, and families are an important part of that. We want to show parents and families how vibrant the WPI campus is and give them access to resources that help support their student.” She adds that over the years, feedback from parents has been positive because most families are happy to spend time with their children on campus.

It’s shaping up as very packed weekend, Perlow says, with so many activities and options available on campus and the Worcester area. She stresses, though, that it’s less about the activities and more about the shared experience.

“It is impossible to do everything on the schedule. The most important thing is for parents and families to enjoy spending time with their students. There’s always next year if they can’t attend every program.”

By Mike D’Onofrio