Parents and siblings gathered around the campus recently to visit their Crusaders for a weekend of fun in a friendly atmosphere.
Family Weekend is a tradition that perhaps isn’t as defined as some of the older ones at the university, but it has been around for a while.
“I must say that this event is something there is not much history about,” Museum Curator Betty Sue Beebe said. “It seems that in the beginning, it may have been called Parents Weekend and may have been initiated by a parents’ organization. Dr. Bill Muske, former director of church relations, and his wife, Jan, were among the first leaders of that organization,” she said.
Whatever the case may be, the event has grown into quite a tradition.
Vice President for Student Life Dr. Bryon Weathersbee explained why.
“Family Weekend gives our moms, dads, stepmoms, stepdads, grandparents, aunts and uncles the opportunity to come and experience life at UMHB,” Weathersbee said.
“They get to experience the academic side by meeting the faculty. They get to experience the social side by all of the different things we have going on.”
The weekend allows families to see a glimpse of life on campus.
“It’s a microcosm of what goes on in the life of a student’s semester, and we bring families in so they can experience the Crusader spirit,” he said.
This year, students and their families participated in a pep rally, a tailgate party and were given the chance to watch some of the Cru athletes in action.
The Baugh Center for Visual Arts gave tours, and a concert was held at the Hughes Recital Hall.
Weathersbee has three children of his own and believes Family Weekend gives parents a chance to see what their children are doing.
“From a parent’s standpoint, it allows families to enter into the world of their student, and we, as parents, miss them,” he said.
Junior pre-physical therapy major Jacy Mullins has been at the university since last August.
A native of Sweeny, Texas, Mullins lives too far away to see her family on a regular basis.
“I’m really close with my family, so it’s tough having to leave them during the fall. Family Weekend gives me the opportunity to spend time with them and catch them up on new things that are going on at school,” she said.
Mullins enjoys including her family in all things school related.
“It’s fun to see how they interact with my friends and the campus. I just love being able to share this part of my life with them,” she said.
Weathersbee is confident Family Weekend will continue to have a lasting impression on Crusaders and their families.
“I hope students will reconnect with their family and be able to host their families on our campus to give them the greatest experience possible,” he said. “I hope they can experience UMHB and all that it has to offer and to experience Belton.”
He wants Crusaders to be proud of their home away from home.
“My hope is students will value the community they live in,” Weathersbee said.