Family Weekend draws parents

More than 2,000 GW parents and family members descended on GW’s Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses Friday to visit their relatives, show some GW spirit and tour the city.

Family Weekend offered a wide variety of Family Weekend events that featured political speakers, jazz performers, intimate social gatherings, department open houses and a Saturday concert by The Beach Boys.

Rodney Johnson, director of Parent Services, said more parents registered for this year’s Family Weekend than ever before. Turnout was high for all the weekend activities, Johnson said.

“The most rewarding part for me is interacting with parents,” Johnson said. “It’s not just parents’ weekend but it is truly a family weekend.”

The University spent more than $30,000 on the Family Weekend activities, Johnson said.

Parents gave the weekend high praise, and some said they enjoyed Midnight Madness the most, even though it was not an official Family Weekend event. The event was a pep rally coordinated by the Student Activities Center and the GW Athletic Department.

GW parents Cheryl and George Cahill from North Carolina said they attended a variety of events this weekend.

They went to the opening ceremony with guest speaker Jim Bohannah, host of CNN’s “Talkback Live,” an engineering school open house, a trolley tour of D.C. and a coffee and jazz reception following the Beach Boys concert, they said.

The Saturday concert in front of a sold-out crowd at the Smith Center featured some of the band’s greatest hits, such as “California Girls” and “Little Deuce Coupe,” as well as some stand-up comedy from the band members, who joked about their age and the cost of GW tuition.

“Your poor parents had to sell their Mercedes and Porsches to send you here,” the band’s piano player said.

The band’s songs about classic cars and surfing struck a chord with parents who said they grew up listening to The Beach Boys. But some students said they had trouble appreciating the music that originated before their time.

“The Beach Boys were very entertaining and the parents loved it, but personally, it was a little over my head,” sophomore Carolyn Krumme said.

The show featured original Beach Boy Mike Love. Other original band members are touring separately.

The Cahills also have a daughter who attends Ithaca College, but said they participate in more events at GW than at Ithaca, where Parents Weekend revolves around football games and shopping.

Charollete and Steve Frank, whose daughter is a junior, attended the parent’s welcome and the Beach Boys concert. They said they scheduled more time for on-campus events this year because they did not visit as many tourist spots as they did in previous years.

Fauzia Rana, whose daughter is a freshman, said she attended her first GW Family Weekend this year.

Rana, whose son attended Georgetown University, said GW’s Family Weekend is “much better” than Georgetown’s.

Some siblings said they enjoyed the weekend’s activities.

Some siblings said they enjoyed the weekend’s activities.

It’s a blast, said Jeff Gold, sophomore Ariel Gold’s 16-year-old brother.

Although Gold said his sister is a poor tour guide, he said he enjoyed hanging out in Georgetown and going shopping. Gold said he was also impressed by Midnight Madness.

The jugglers were phat, Gold said.

Parents Jim and Gail DeGuilio from Rhode Island spent part of the weekend shopping in Georgetown, going out to dinner with their freshman daughter and her roommates and attending several GW events.

Katrina Campbell, executive assistant of Student Services, said this year’s Family Weekend received a fantastic response. There was a packed house for Midnight Madness, which had more participants this year than last, she said.

While many families took full advantage of the activities offered this weekend, some did not go to any campus events. Some parents said they had other priorities, and others said they did not find anything that appealed to them.

We didn’t go to any GW events because nothing piqued our interests, said Terry Siegel, a parent from New Jersey.

Jeffrey Goldberg, who traveled from New Jersey to visit his freshman son, said the weekend was very nice but he did not go to many evening events.

The Yankees are playing, he said.

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