Parents Experience Life as a Baylor Bear During Parents Weekend

Oct. 4, 2007

by Katie Brooks, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

Parents of Baylor University students will learn what being a real "Baylor Bear" means through various activities during Parents Weekend events Friday, Oct. 5, and Saturday, Oct. 6, on Baylor's campus.

A Baylor tradition since 1960, this annual event gives families of Baylor students the opportunity to learn more about campus and their child's experiences at Baylor. Parents can sample Baylor's unique traditions, history, academic excellence, athletic programs and student talent with scheduled events.

"Students' families are truly welcomed in to the Baylor family. They see first-hand what this unique academic community is like for their students during the rest of the year," said Adam Renz, Baylor Chamber of Commerce Parents Weekend chairman.

Baylor Chamber members said they expect between 4,000 and 6,000 guests on campus for the special weekend.

Registration will be held from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday in the Bill Daniel Student Center where parents will receive packets of information and can sign up for tickets for After Dark and Dinner on the Grounds. Parents can also pick up any Baylor apparel they pre-ordered through the Parents Weekend web site.

Wearing their new Baylor gear, parents can take tours of campus during this registration period, hosted by the Baylor Chamber of Commerce and Student Foundation. Tours will run continually from 2 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. start at the center of campus at Fountain Mall.

As the oldest institution for higher learning in Texas, Baylor has a rich history. The "Baylor in Focus" exhibit in Barfield Drawing room offers a glimpse of Baylor's past. Dr Pepper floats are popular treats for Baylor students, so visitors should be sure to sample these floats before or after their tour.

At 2 p.m. Friday, parents will have a special opportunity to witness the dedication of the Paul L. Foster Success Center in the newly-renovated Sid Richardson Building. President John M. Lilley will speak and Paul L. Foster will give a response. Harold Cunningham, chairman of the Baylor Board of Regents, will give the prayer of appreciation. The dedication and open house will include refreshments and light snacks. Immediately following the dedication, guided tours of the new building will be held.

After Dark, an annual variety show featuring many talented Baylor students, will take place at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. in Waco Hall. Russell and Betty Pilcher, Baylor Parents of the Year, will be recognized during the 7 p.m. performance by Judy Maggard, director of Baylor Parents League.

The annual Dessert Party at 8:30 p.m. at the Baylor Science Building patio is a sweet tradition of Parents Weekend. As a relaxing treat between After Dark performances, visitors can enjoy fresh pies, cakes and cookies while listening to the classically trained jazz ensemble The Ed Burleson Band, a local favorite.

Parents can rise early Saturday morning for the Parent-Faculty Coffee from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at Burleson Quadrangle. Parents can meet and greet their student's professors and faculty from each department over coffee and a light breakfast.

"This event shows families how special Baylor is, as few schools have faculty who care about their students so much so that they would wake up at sunrise and spend the morning having coffee and talking with parents," Renz said.

Dinner on the Grounds enables families to unwind with a picnic-style lunch on Founders Mall. Baylor President John M. Lilley will give a welcoming address and a brief state of the university speech. Baylor's live bear mascots will pay the crowd a visit, giving families the opportunity to see them up close. Baylor's Chamber of Commerce recommends buying tickets early for this popular event.

The weekend will conclude with all students and families gathering at Floyd Casey Stadium to cheer on the Bears as they take on the Colorado Buffaloes.

Renz said the university enjoys opening its doors to be accessible and helpful to all the visiting family and friends during Parents Weekend.

"So many freshman parents are in awe over how tightly knit their students' new homes are and how invested everyone here at Baylor is within each other's lives," he said.

Tickets for Dinner on the Grounds and After Dark are available online at the Parents Weekend web site.

For more information, contact Chamber of Commerce at (254) 710-3322 or Parents_Weekend@baylor.edu.

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