BY SEBASTIAN DUNCAN – STAFF WRITER
2016’s Family Weekend was bigger and better than ever. Centre’s campus had it all–musical performances, athletic events, theatre productions, art exhibits, informational sessions, fundraisers, and more.
On Friday, the Aegon Gallery opened its doors to students and family, Beta Theta Pi and Kappa Kappa Gamma started their 24-hour See-Saw-A-Thon, Paper Jam performed in the Campus Center, and CentreDrama presented the Tony-award winning play Proof.
Saturday morning was kicked off by Kappa Alpha Theta and Delta Kappa Epsilon’s Boot Stomp, Centre Athletic’s Gold Out, the President’s Brunch, and Delta Delta Delta’s Silent Auction benefiting St. Jude..
Centre students and faculty used the Family Weekend as an opportunity to share a variety of music with parents. At 11:00 a.m., the Centre music ensembles performed a diverse selection of musical pieces at the Centre Showcase, and at 6:00 PM Centre faculty and alumni band Cadey and the Arrows played pop and rock hits from the 1980s to the present.
Centre’s athletic teams also demonstrated their prowess at the events that they hosted. At noon, the women’s soccer team played against Oglethorpe and the field hockey team faced Roanoke. In the afternoon, the football team competed against the University of Chicago and the men’s soccer team took on Oglethorpe.
Saturday also featured several informational sessions for parents, from “Prepare Your First-Year for Success” to “Launching Your Centre Senior”.
Behind this incredibly well-organized sequence of events and activities is Centre’s Associate Director of Development for Donor Relations and Parent Programs, Mona Wyatt.
While Wyatt is not in charge of every event on campus during Family Weekend, she is responsible for scheduling the entirety of the Family Weekend. In addition, she is directly involved in several functions that the college sponsors.
“There’s so much going on around here, I don’t have to do all the programming,” Wyatt said. “I just organize the schedule and get the word out.”
However, Wyatt’s responsibilities aren’t limited to “just” organizing the schedule. She plans a parent donor dinner “as a thank you for their support of the Parents Fund”, she books all of the bands that play on campus during the weekend, and she calls “all of the local Danville organizations to see what other things off-campus might interest parents.”
Wyatt is also responsible for planning the President’s Brunch and the series of presentations that took place on Saturday.
The tradition of the Family Weekend has existed for decades, but the scale of its schedule and events has gradually increased.
“When I came to Centre in 1979, Family Weekend… was already an established tradition,” Wyatt said. “It involved the same basic schedule that we follow today, but the crowds were smaller and we didn’t have as many athletic events as we do now.”
Wyatt also added that “two things set this Family Weekend apart” from previous years. The first was the number of musical events that took place on and off campus, and the second was the variety of fundraisers that were held by Centre students.
Coordinating Family Weekend is an important part of Wyatt’s administrative position, and she has a very positive attitude towards her responsibilities.
“If I had to pick what I enjoy most about Family Weekend, it’s hearing all the nice things our parents say about their experiences with Centre,” Wyatt said. “They appreciate the College, they are happy to be here for the weekend, and most of them tell us that they are very pleased with their student’s college choice!”
Centre College’s Family Weekend gives family members the opportunity to see what Centre students have accomplished so far. The Family Weekend is a tradition that has existed for decades, and will continue to exist for the decades to come.
However, the scale of the Family Weekend this year made it especially memorable and exciting.