Yellow Jacket families reunite for Parent and Family Weekend

Nearly a decade after being combined with the Bold and Gold event, Parent and Family Weekend made a return to campus as a standalone event celebrating families a month after the start of the Fall semester.


Kathryn Raubolt, The Exponent

Meghan Kania, center left, and her daughter, Leah Kania, dance for the 360 cameras at the tailgate event held before attending the football game.

Yellow Jacket parents and family members returned to the Baldwin Wallace University campus on Sept. 23 to reconnect with their students just over a month after the official start of the fall semester and participate in the newly-relaunched Parent and Family Weekend. 

The weekend officially started Friday night and carried over into Saturday, giving parents a chance to see campus life throughout the week and weekend. 

The event, put together by a committee of various campus departments, aimed to give parents an insight into what their student’s life is like now that they are on campus. 

“Parent and Family Weekend is an opportunity for parents to come back and connect with their student in their own environment after getting settled in,” said Marc West, director of parent and family programs. 

The two-day event was held Sept. 23-24, offering a variety of activities including a paint-and-sip event, trivia, and a tailgating event to precede the first home football game of the 2022 season. 

“The diverse events are meant to be accommodating to a wide array of interests,” West said. Not everyone likes trivia or paint-and-sip. We wanted to offer a variety of events.”  

In previous years, Parent and Family Weekend was combined with the Bold and Gold event. West came into his current position in January of 2022 and decided to separate the events to give more attention to the parents. 

“I think that this weekend lets parents see what they are paying for and give them a better sense of belonging on campus,” first-year music therapy major Junie Carter said. 

One element of the weekend’s events included a Legacy Family Tent hosted by the Center for Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement. Legacy families are students and alumni with generational ties to BW, including parents, grandparents, siblings and other relatives who have attended or are currently attending BW. 

“This special effort allowed legacy families to meet, share their connection with BW and celebrate BW as a part of their family’s history and future,” said Madeline Wallace, director of alumni engagement. “Having families who have made it a tradition to attend BW deepens the spirit and connection that students and alumni feel for BW and shows the value of the BW experience.” 

The weekend also created a chance for students to catch up with siblings and other family members who they may have been in less contact with since moving to college. 

“I only live 10 minutes away, so I go home pretty much whenever I want to,” first-year business administration major Ashlin Jancar said. “But I really missed spending time with my little sister, and it was nice to see her and spend time with her.” 

Timeka Rashid, vice president for student affairs, welcomed families into the BW community and emphasized that parents and family members have a seat at the table where their voices are heard. 

“The weekend is a part of a larger programmatic staple of our division to provide an opportunity for parents to feel connected to the university,” Rashid said. “The P.F.W. weekend also allowed parents to meet each other and increase their own network.”