WKU prepares for Parent and Family Weekend

Rachael Waters

Parent and Family Weekend may seem like an effortless welcome to Hilltoppers’ loved ones, but in order to make it all happen, various departments must work together long before the weekend arrives.

Alumni Relations, in coalition with Student Activities and Organizations, Admissions, the Special Events Office and  the Restaurant and Catering Group, plays host to Parent Weekend every fall. Registration on Friday and Saturday will lead up to Saturday’s events, including mock classrooms, dorm receptions and the president’s festival. All festivities will culminate with the football game against Indiana State at 6 p.m.

Tim and Ellen Gott, along with their children, WKU’s 2011 Family of the Year, will be honored at half time.

Preparation for Parent Weekend begins a year in advance, according to Assistant Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, Amy Miller. Immediately following Parent Weekend, the five departments get together to discuss improvements for the next year. When the football schedule is released in the spring they pick a date for the fall and begin the Family of the Year process.

“WKU values their parents,” Miller said. “We want parents to know they are a part of their student’s experience. We want them to see how their children have grown and show them their new life.”

Doing everything from mowing the grass to getting rid of trash, the Department of Facilities Management works all year to keep the Hill looking beautiful.

“We like to imagine every weekend is parents weekend,” the manager of Campus Services, Joshua Twardowski said. “That way that the campus is always ready for such events.”

Facilities Management pays extra attention to campus upkeep in the two weeks before Parent Weekend, focusing on areas such as  South Lawn and DUC.

“The grounds crew takes pride in their work, and I think it shows,” Twardowski said.

During the event, 10 grounds crew members will work to make sure there is no trash or debris on the lawns or gardens. The increase in activities and guests will require additional trashcans and vigilance to make sure none of them overflow, he said.

“We feel that if the parents see how well we maintain the grounds, it will make them feel good about having their children attend WKU,” Twardowski said.