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Our interview today is with Mr. Thomas Mogan, Director of Villanova’s Office of Student Development. One of his many activities is supervising Parents Weekend.
Fresh@News. Tom, Parents Weekend is just a few days away! Can you tell us a little about the weekend?
Tom Mogan: Parents Weekend will take place on September 12th - 14th. Parents Weekend is a time for family and friends to visit the campus and learn about the Villanova Community.
Fresh@News: For some of our readers, this will be their first Villanova Parents Weekend, and for most it will be the first time they have seen their son or daughter since they said goodbye at New Student Orientation. Can you tell us a little bit what to expect?
TM. The first thing to say is: be ready for anything! There are as many different experiences as there are students. Some parents will be amazed by the changes and growth they have seen even in a few weeks. Many of our resident freshman are already saying “I’m going home now” when they mean that they are returning to their residence hall. Some already have a dozen new best friends, have joined some activities, are getting on top of their course work, and are enjoying themselves. At the same time, some of the students are still finding their way, and may be struggling with not having made the kind of social connections they were hoping for, feeling homesick, being overwhelmed by their courses, or not getting along with the roommate. The only real advice I can give you is to say that it is all pretty normal right now, and expect a lot of changes in the first few weeks (in any direction).
Fresh@News: Is there a lot going on for parents and students to do?
TM. I think our visitors will have a great time. One of the things we do is to showcase our students' talents. From Athletic events to the Ethics Symposium to the Music Activities Showcase, you’ll see that Villanova students have a wealth of talent.
Fresh@News. What events would you recommend to parents of new students?
TM. The weekend is designed so parents and family members can pick and choose from a variety of receptions, lectures, and events. Parent University Sessions (offered on Friday and Saturday) offer a number of workshops where parents and family members can meet campus administrators and faculty members and learn about relevant issues that face Villanova students. We’ve placed special emphasis on the election this year, as we have several sessions focusing on this important event. Other topics include Augustinian Spirituality, Study Abroad, Forgiveness and Choosing a Major, just to name a few! Please check out the Parents' web site (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details on these programs.
Fresh@News. Will the ONE BOOK VILLANOVA be a part of Parents Weekend again this year?
TM. We are very excited about this year's selection, The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls, and are excited to hear what parents and family members have to say about the book. One Book Villanova is designed as a campus-wide program to engage all members of the university community - including parents, students, faculty, staff, and alumni - in the discussion of an important contemporary book. We will have two different events over the course of the weekend which focus on the book. The first event, One Book Villanova Dinner: Ideas and Conversation, will take place Friday evening at 5 p.m. in the East Lounge of Dougherty Hall. This is sure to be a unique, intellectual dining experience! The One Book Villanova committee is sponsoring this dinner to kick off our programming for this year's selection. The dinner will feature a keynote speaker on family issues and then provide an opportunity for parents to discuss some of the powerful ideas raised in this work. As we will be discussing the ideas found in the book, prior reading is not necessary! Please call (610) 519-4210 to make a reservation or for more information. The other event will take place on Saturday morning at 11:00 a.m. at the Holy Grounds in Falvey Memorial Library. This will be a casual gathering around a cup of coffee and will feature a discussion of The Glass Castle with all those interested.
Fresh@News. Is Parents Weekend just for the parents?
TM. Not at all! We invite all family members (aunts, uncles, grandparents and siblings) to participate in the weekend.
Fresh@News. What types of events are going on that you think other family members would be interested in attending?
TM. On Friday evening we are very excited to offer LateNite at Villanova - Family Style! This will take place in the Connelly Center from 8:00- 11:00 p.m.. This will be a chance for family members to experience a typical weekend night at Villanova! The LateNite at Villanova program offers entertainment for students every Friday and Saturday night in the Connelly Center. We've decided to tailor this night's entertainment to the whole family! Featured will be acoustic guitarists, the movie Kung Fu Panda, and two improvisational comedy shows by Comedy Sportz. Free admission includes entertainment, soft drinks, and desserts.
Fresh@News. That sounds great. And what about for the sports enthusiasts among us?
TM. Well, you can catch the Women's Field Hockey team in action on Friday (7 p.m. against Brown) and Sunday (2 p.m. against Missouri State) and the football team will take the field on Saturday against Lehigh at 1 p.m. If you plan ongoing to the football game on Saturday evening, make sure that you come early to check out the new Nova Nation Pre-Game Tent. This all new tailgate experience will start 2 hours before each home football game. Look for the Nova Nation banner, the big tent, music, great food, cheerleaders, pre-game radio show, and inflatable games. The Nova Nation Pre-Game Tent is the ONLY place to go before the home game.
Fresh@News. It sounds like the weekend is full of great events.
TM. And I only mentioned a few, so make sure to check out the full schedule at http://www.villanova.edu/studentlife/specprograms/parents/events/parentsweekend
to see all of the other things going on throughout the weekend. Some events require registration, so please don't miss out and register now! If you haven't received the brochure in the mail, you can download it from the Parents' Website or call our office at 610.519.4210.
Fresh@News: Do you have any recommendations for our parents of first year students who will be experience Parents Weekend for the first time?
TM. My best advice would be to try to experience as much of Villanova as you can, and to let your son or daughter show you the things that have become important to him or her while you are here. Also remember to save a little time to just simply be with your son or daughter. They are still very much in a time of transition and it will be important for you to gauge their needs over the course of the weekend. Most importantly, just have fun and enjoy your time together! See you this weekend!