Drexel’s annual Family Weekend took place this year from Nov. 4-6, with a wide array of events to choose from. Most notably, the weekend wrapped up with a Farewell Brunch held in the Main Building. The brunch was only one of many events held by the university to welcome parents, friends and family members. With well over a year’s worth of planning from Drexel Special Events, this Family Weekend was the first full and formal event that invites all families to campus since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“This is the first real, true Family Weekend that we have done since 2019. We had a lot of families last year, but we were still under some COVID restrictions,” said Drexel Director of Special Events, Katilyn Delengowski. “So this year, I was really excited that we could bring back some traditions that we’ve had previously, [such as] Farewell Brunch.”
To make up for time lost during the pandemic, Drexel held a multitude of activities both at and outside of the university. Campus partners as well as local Philadelphia historic sites and local attractions worked to arrange activities for students and their families to be able to offer a wide range of attractions that are local to the city.
“I think there’s good enough options, we had some things to choose from then we also went off on our own and did things as well. We enjoyed the music trolley in particular. It’s great to have something fun, interesting, creative, but also to get a sense of the city’s history,” said Mark Kramer, a parent of a student in the class of 2026.
The goal of Family Weekend is to make sure that families are as engaged as they want to be, according to Delengowski. Families are encouraged to get to know the city and campus, as some families have not visited campus since Welcome Week and student move-in. This occasion is especially important for those families who have not attended since their student’s first year due to pandemic complications.
“Having not seen my family since I moved in, it was a nice grounding moment for me. It was also a nice opportunity to let them know what I’m doing here and that their money is going to good use,” said Cole Brashears, a music industry major in the class of 2026. “To see [family] after two months of being on my own made it a great event.”
“In higher ed, it is becoming more and more of a symbiotic relationship and we’re finding that families want to be more involved. Family involvement with students has increased each year since I’ve joined here. It’s really making sure that we know while it’s the student’s experience at Drexel, that part of the student experience really needs to acknowledge where they came from and if families want to be involved,” said Delengowski.
While Family Weekend is oriented towards facilitating said symbiotic relationship towards families and the university, the events help students reconcile their familial relationships with the new families they have on campus.