Family Weekend offers new activities as attendance increases


Sydney Novak/ Iowa State Daily

Nicholas Ryan, freshman in open option, went to various activities with his family during Family Weekend. Ryan’s parents said they were most excited to learn more about a typical day for him at Iowa State. 

Sydney Novak

Family Weekend is a tradition many Cyclones look forward to here at Iowa State. This year families were welcomed to spend three days on campus learning about the university, seeing the campus and of course spending time with their families.

“We probably will come back next year, unless he’s disowned us by then,” said the family of Edward Wilson, sophomore in computer science.

The Wilson family drove from Coralville, Iowa, to visit Edward Wilson at their first Family Weekend together. 

Family Weekend events began late Friday with entertainment including family bingo, mentalist and mind reader performances and a Sunday brunch to wrap it up. This weekend was full of opportunities to enjoy organized events together on and off campus as well. 

For this extravagant weekend to take place, a lot of planning and organization was necessary. The Family Weekend planning committee consists of students and faculty advisers who have been working for two semesters to organize the events.

This year, 1,300 families registered to attend Family Weekend in Ames, doubling registration from 2017. Also, this Family Weekend was a little different from years past. Instead of families registering for individual events and paying for them separately, families bought a “package” that included access to all of the campus events going on. 

Hannah Rothamel, senior in supply chain management and Family Weekend student president, was particularly excited for the mentalist and mind reader performance Friday night at the Memorial Union.

“I made my whole family volunteer with us this weekend,” Rothamel said. “[I was] excited to celebrate them and put them to work all at the same time! Thanks, Mom.”

Traditional Family Weekend activities at Iowa State are a little different every year, but one activity that never changes is Family Bingo. Other events that took place are new to the itinerary this year, such as Pianopalooza, where families enjoyed singing and dancing together to live music Saturday night. 

Also on Saturday, families were invited to watch the football game at the Alumni center and play games, eat and drink.

Although the weekend was chilly, the family of Nicholas Ryan, freshman in open option, wasn’t fazed by the cold weather, being from Iowa. 

The Ryan family said they were most interested to experience a day in the life of their son and to “see how far he has to walk everyday.”

Many families were seen walking about campus over the weekend, excited to see popular landmarks such as the Campanile, Fountain of the Four Seasons and Lake Laverne. 

The most popular events on Friday and Saturday were Pianopalooza, the volleyball tailgate before the Cyclones took on Texas Tech and the “Larry and Raven: Mentalists and Mind Readers” performance. 

This was the tenth year that Family Weekend has been an event on campus, and plans for next year have already begun. To expand beyond the weekend, the Family of the Year Award applications have opened and will be accepted until Jan. 12, 2020.