Family weekend events show the campus experience

Since the 1990s, Carnegie Mellon’s family weekend has been an amalgamation of events, activities, performances, and sports matches, allowing families to experience a wide range of campus experiences. This year’s festivities proved no different.

Lauryn Patt, a sophomore in Dietrich College, attended a few of these events along with her family. “We went to the [Miller ICA] art gallery opening. It was neat,” said Patt’s mother. “Later in the day, we’re going to the football game.” When asked if they were enjoying the events so far, Patt’s father responded for everyone: “Yeah.”

Diane Eshelman, Assistant Director for First-Year Orientation and Family Engagement, told The Tartan in an email that this year’s family weekend had a few new twists. First, she said, “in an effort to be sustainable, we have moved away from printing paper schedules and have moved the schedule to the CMU Events app,” which has previously been used for events like orientation and commencement.

A photo booth was also added in the Cohon Center “where families can take photos with their students and show off their CMU pride,” Eshelman noted. Three new faculty talks were held over the weekend, Associate Professor Po-Shen Loh’s “Memorization, or Not?,” CyLab Director Dr. Lorie Cranor’s “Security and Privacy for Humans,” and Carnegie Bosch Professor of Business Param Vir Singh’s “Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Blockchain (CMU-Coin) at Tepper.”

This year, Eshelman said, 1,500 families pre-registered, with more registering during the weekend.

Eshelman says that families have reported to the Office of Parent & Family Engagement that they enjoy the variety of events offered. Over 60 events occurred this weekend, including the 16th Annual Chili Cook-Off complete with a free chili mug, a Carnegie Mellon football game, an a cappella concert called Vertigo, and several academic lectures. She says, however, that “most of all, our families enjoy spending quality time catching up with their student.”

Attendees tend to agree. Riley Knavish, a sophomore in Dietrich College, was excited to see her family. Her sister was equally excited, saying “it’s cool that Carnegie Mellon does this. There’s a lot of free stuff.” Even though they’re just an hour away in Mt. Lebanon, Knavish’s parents would never give up an opportunity to see her.