Families get a taste of University life

GW families crowded into local hotels and restaurants last weekend to take part in the University’s annual Family Weekend.

“We want (families) to enjoy the events on campus, to enjoy the city and to learn where their family member is going to school,” said Rodney Johnson, director of parent services.

Johnson said the event promoted not only campus programs but also cultural sights in the city.

Free tickets to the Vincent Van Gogh exhibit at the National Gallery of Art were made available.

“I actually got tickets a long time ago for this,” sophomore John Marks said. “My mother is somewhat of an art enthusiast and I knew this would be something to make her stay more enjoyable.”

For those who wanted a feel for on-campus activities, administrators, professors and student leaders were available to interact with families.

“We’re having a lot of the residence halls do open houses,” said Assistant Dean of Students Mark Levine. “We want a chance to interact with the parents, answer some questions and its kind of nice as a follow-up to (Colonial Inauguration).”

Law professor Jonathan Turley talked with families during the weekend. Turley’s celebrity status, boosted by appearances on the Sunday talk shows, made him a popular attraction.

“We wanted to show (the parents) who their sons and daughters have here in terms of professors,” Johnson said.

“It was very interesting because we’ve seen him on TV before, and he’s much more lively in person,” said Bob Stewart, father of freshman Elizabeth Stewart.

Elizabeth said she acquainted her parents with her new life at GW this weekend.

“Last night we went out to dinner with Elizabeth and three of her friends,” Bob said. “Today we’re going to her school for a discussion on international relations and then to some other things.”

Marks, who met his parents at J Street for a Sunday brunch, said family weekend was fun, but it was time to get back to classwork.

“I liked having them here,” Marks said. “But I still have some mid-terms to study for and I could really use some catch-up time for that.”

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