Trojan Family Weekend Draws Thousands to Campus
At the 9th annual Trojan Family Weekend, a long line of parents stretched from the doors of Bovard Auditorium in anticipation of the presidential address by USC President C. L. Max Nikias.
“As a USC parent, I know how much your children mean to you and how much you have sacrificed to bring them here. I’m not only focused on their education, but also on their safety and well being,” Nikias said.
His speech was a highlight of the three-day weekend event, which drew 4,000 USC parents and family members to campus October 28-30. The Office for Parent Programs, part of the Division of Student Affairs, spends 10 months each year planning the weekend that includes breakfast with deans, free health screenings, a campus spirit walk and a chance for parents to attend classes with their students.
Following Nikias’ remarks, parents and family members lunched in Alumni Park with entertainment by the Trojan Marching Band. Stan Marcus of Newport Beach and his son Ben enjoyed sharing the meal while reflecting on the opportunities USC has provided.
“The communication from USC to parents is superb,” Stan Marcus said. “This is my second time attending Trojan Family Weekend because I like to see what’s going on here. My parents dropped me off at college when I moved into my freshman dorm. The next time I saw them on campus was the day I graduated. The university didn’t have things like this. Trojan Family Weekend is great.”
On Saturday, students and their families enjoyed tailgate picnics before heading to the USC vs. Stanford football game, which went into triple overtime and drew a crowd of 93,607 spectators.
Throughout the weekend, family members and students attended a wide array of fun and educational events, including a conversation with celebrity guests Steve and Candace Garvey, and Marilou and Mark Hamill. Both couples have children who attend the university.
Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star Steve Garvey praised the university as “an institution that has created a family environment that will nurture our children and challenge them.”
There was standing room only in the Joys of Graduation session, featuring a panel of USC parents who have experienced commencement day. The veteran parents shared tips on renting caps and gowns, parking, lodging, transportation and dining options.
“I really looked forward to this session because this is my first child graduating,” said Rae Yan of Manhattan Beach, Calif. Yan had a detailed list of all the events she planned to attend, including a downtown walking tour.
This year, several new activities were also offered, including junior Trojan events for kids ages 10-17, a program for parents of first-generation students and a chat with athletic director Pat Haden.
Beth Saul, assistant dean of Student Affairs and director for Fraternity and Sorority Leadership and Parent Programs, said, “The Office for Parent Programs staff thoroughly enjoyed welcoming almost 4,000 parents, siblings and grandparents to our campus, seeing their smiles during visits with their students and connecting Trojan family members to the excellence and pride throughout USC — the schools, athletics, cultural events and, of course, Student Affairs.”