Northwestern Family Weekend 2022: Everything you need to know


Daily file illustration by Meher Yeda

Family Weekend is happening between Friday and Sunday with a variety of programming.

Camille Haines, Reporter

This weekend, Northwestern families can tailgate at Ryan Field, stargaze at Dearborn Observatory and meet with University President Michael Schill, among other activities.

Family Weekend officially kicks off Friday, and NU has packed the three days with events for families coming from out of town. The Division of Student Affairs works with NU schools, the Office of the President and NU Athletics to make the event a reality each year. 

Family Engagement Coordinator Patricia Hilkert, has been assisting with the planning of Family Weekend for the past year. She said she is excited to see the events finally come together.

“We have a lot more programming this year, which is exciting,” Hilkert said.

The University is offering faculty lectures, afternoons with undergraduate schools and a Friday conversation with Schill.

On Saturday, families can head to Ryan Field for the Family Weekend Tailgate, where they can enjoy breakfast and music from 9-11 a.m. Immediately following the tailgate, students and families can watch the Wildcats take on the Ohio State Buckeyes.

“We’re always really excited about the tailgate,” Hilkert said. “That’s always a really fun time.”

After the game, the University will offer information sessions for families about student opportunities including study abroad, undergraduate research and fellowships.

Weinberg freshman Arianna Guarro said she’s looking forward to seeing family members and enjoying different events with them this weekend. Guarro’s family is especially interested in stargazing at Dearborn Observatory on Saturday.

“You can go into the observatory and look through the telescope, so they’re all really excited for that,” Guarro said.

On Sunday, families can participate in the Krispy Kreme 5k, where participants run a 5k while eating doughnuts starting at the south end of the Lakefill. Religious services, student panels on the student experience and the women’s volleyball match against Nebraska make up the rest of Sunday’s programming.

Off campus, the Art Institute of Chicago is offering free admission this weekend to two visitors accompanying an undergraduate student.

Closer to Evanston, the Block Museum of Art will be open to families from 12-8 p.m. on Friday and 12-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

But not all students have family visit this weekend, due to factors like scheduling conflicts and travel expenses. 

McCormick sophomore Cecelia Barr said although her family is not coming this weekend, she is not worried about it.

“Family Weekend isn’t that big to me,” Barr said. “People know it’s happening, but you don’t feel left out if your parents aren’t here.”

For students whose families can’t attend, they can still engage in plenty of activities this weekend, including NU Nights’ “Smocks and Mocks” at Norris University Center on Friday. 

As Family Weekend approaches, students and faculty alike await the arrival of families to enjoy their company.

“It’s a really good time to talk with different families and gives me an opportunity to connect with everyone in a more casual atmosphere,” Hilkert said. “I’m excited for it all.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @camille_haines 

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