Parents, alumni flock to GW for Colonials Weekend

GW welcomed parents, family members and alumni to campus this weekend to participate in a variety of events and to visit with students and friends.

For the second consecutive year Colonials Weekend combined Parents Weekend and Alumni Weekend.

Jason Miller, director of alumni benefits, said although he does not yet know how many alumni attended, he was pleased with the turnout.

“Alumni are always thrilled to come back to their alma matter,” Miller said. “From the fifth year reunion class to the 50th anniversary class, all alumni are excited to see the growth of the campus and happy to interact with one another once again.”

University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, Director of Parent Services Rodney Johnson and host of CNN “Crossfire” Tucker Carlson kicked off Colonials Weekend with a Welcome Session on Saturday morning. Trachtenberg said Carlson “has become a member of the GW family,” jokingly adding that Carlson is interested in getting GW credit for hosting the political talk show, shot live in GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs.

Carlson followed by explaining the three things he would do if he were back in college at GW.

“First, enjoy the current presidential election, all the candidates pass through D.C., and it is amazingly interesting to follow their campaigns,” he said. “Secondly… figure out what you believe in, and then talk about it with your peers… Thirdly… be a free speaker, and don’t let other people make you be quiet.”

After the event Carlson stayed for a book signing of his recently released book, “Politicians, Partisans, and Parasites: My Adventures in Cable News.”

Highlights of the weekend included a Whoopi Goldberg comedy show on Friday, which attracted 5,000 people and a Beach Boys concert on Saturday, with 4,000 people in attendance.

Other events included a silent auction, Octoberfest at Mount Vernon and a Jazz Brunch.

“This is a great opportunity for parents to see their students in action,” said Bob Ludwig, interim director of media relations, regarding the student- run jazz band entertaining the brunch.

Around campus most parents visiting their students for this year’s Colonial Weekend said they were pleased with the events.

“Out of 10, I’d give it a 10,” parent John Och said. “The enthusiasm by the students, parents, administration and alumni has been incredible.”

This Och family saw the Beach Boys and Whoopi Goldberg, and attended the Sunday Brunch on Foggy Bottom.

“They were really able to put all the events together nicely, it has been a great experience” parent Jayne Och said.

Other parents said the events were not the focus of the weekend.

“Really though, we came to spend time with our daughter,” parent Mark Pendrock said. “This weekend was for her.”

Other parents said they were upset to see their students studying for midterms over the weekend.

“My daughter has midterms next week, so she has a lot of pressure from school,” parent Peggy Isham said. “She has to juggle spending time with us and studying. They should take a closer look at the dates when scheduling events.”

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