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Parents enjoy special weekend at UNCP

By Joshua Davis
Staff Writer

October 18, 2012

Photo by Hillary Akers
The Hawk's nest was open for free to students' families. A possible future UNCP student is helped with his bowling.
Parents' Weekend kicked off in the Givens Performing Arts Center (GPAC) on Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. with a performance of the award-winning musical, "Smokey Joe's Café."

Even though the following morning brought some unexpected showers, "welcome" signs were still on display in residence halls across the UNCP campus.

125 years of history

The Native American Resource Center in the Old Main building was the first to open its doors to parents and students on Sept. 29 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"People are more relaxed on the weekends than they normally would be during the week. Mainly they might be here for business, or with a school group," Alisha Locklear, curatorial technician for the Native American Resource Center, said. "So it's nice to see the husbands and the wives, the grandparents in the Resource Center for these Saturday events."

Despite the threat of additional rain clouds, campus heritage tours were held from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Excitement and energy

"I have a real affinity for Parents' Weekend because it allows the parents to come and get a feel for what their son or daughter is experiencing on the campus…It certainly helps when you have a winning football team on that weekend," Chancellor Kyle R. Carter said.

"I think it's also related to many of the new things that have happened over the last several years. Opening up Cypress Hall, for example, was a big thing for us, Starbucks and a new health sciences building, but there seems to be a lot of energy across the entire campus, and I think I see it in the Parents' Weekend, too," Dr. Carter said.

From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Hawk's Nest attracted a fairly large crowd of free play enthusiasts. Many were playing either one-on-one or in teams of two and three as a family.

Sara Moore of Pitt County won a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 in a raffle sponsored by the Bookstore.

Parents of the Year

In the most anticipated event of Parents' Weekend 2012, a total of 50 parents and caregivers were recognized at the parents' lunch in the newly renovated dining hall, which ended with the presentation of the Parents of the Year Award. Enri Arroyo, mother of senior Victoria McGhee, was presented with the award.

"I told her that she's appreciated all of the time, but I felt like she deserved some recognition from other people. I want them to know how great of a mom she is," McGhee said.

"I nominated her, but I didn't think anything of it. So it's a surprise," she said.

"She said that she was going to nominate me, but I didn't really think too much of it," Arroyo said. "There were just so many essays and so many kids. It was exciting, but not really like 'Oh, something's going to happen'."

A total of 29 nominations were submitted to the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership.

"Victoria's nomination was very well written, extremely heartfelt…but all 29 paid homage to their parents or caregivers," said Preston Ramsey, assistant director for the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership. "And I think they have some amazing students to be proud of."

Weekend in review

According to Ramsey, approximately 350 parents and caregivers participated in the weekend's activities, including 200 to 225 for the parents' lunch.

"The weekend itself would not have been successful without the collaboration of the various departments across campus, including Chancellor and Mrs. Carter, who graciously opened their home to guests in between the parents' lunch and the football game, which the Braves won 27-20. It was a nice way to round out the day and weekend," Ramsey said.

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