Family Weekend brings the UD community together

UD Students, Reagan Lloyd and Victoria Rivera, review the first UD family weekend in two years. Photo of the El Orgullo Latino house, located in the student neighborhood, on family weekend. Photo courtesy of Rivera.

Reagan Lloyd & Victoria Rivera | Contributing Writers

This year UD Family Weekend took place Sept. 24 through Sept. 26 and was a hit. The streets of the student neighborhood and all the campus buildings were filled with family members and laughter. UD offered events throughout the weekend for families to partake in including academic open houses, a corn hole tournament, a UD Jazz Ensemble performance, a Flyer’s football game and many more events. The UD Black Alumni Reunion also took place during Family Weekend to give alumni the unique opportunity to connect with students and their families. Since this was the first Family Weekend held in two years, some people went all out by creating sheet signs to decorate the neighborhoods and enjoying time with their families. 

We had two writers, sophomore Reagan Lloyd and freshman Victoria Rivera, share about how they spent their 2021 Family Weekends.

Lloyd’s Family Weekend Experience 

Since I was a freshman last year, this was my first Family Weekend and I was extremely excited. My public speaking professor, Laura Toomb, was excitedly talking about it the whole week leading up to the festivities and I was able to ask her for her opinions and what it means to her. 

Toomb speaking about Family Weekend said it is “one of the most special weekends of the year.” 

She added that it is an amazing opportunity for parents, students and their housemates to get together and have fun quality time. When I asked her what she thinks it is all about she talked about how here at UD we speak about Marianist values and community and that this weekend really showcases those values. Toomb said it is “an incredibly fun bonding experience” for families and the students, and I have to agree. 

The Lloyd family in front of the UD chapel.

I had the opportunity to see my parents for the first time since move-in and show them around campus. They said that they were incredibly grateful to be able to come to campus and visit my brothers and I on “our turf” as they like to call it. 

My dad, James Lloyd, said, “After last year’s restrictions and limited interaction, it was a special opportunity for all of us to experience the beautiful campus and take in all of the atmosphere surrounding the festive weekend”. 

My family had a wonderful time running around campus to all the events we signed up for. We really enjoyed the event that showcased the Education Abroad Opportunities since my brothers and I all want to go abroad. The event gave our parents an opportunity to learn more about studying abroad and ease their nerves about us going abroad for a semester. While running around the student neighborhood, we had a great time looking around at all the different banners.

My mom, Linnae Lloyd, said, “We were happy to see the campus coming back to life and the students having a good time with family and friends. The porch banners throughout the student neighborhood were fun and entertaining to say the least”.

The whole time my parents were on campus they had nothing but great things to say about UD and the environment the school has created for my brothers and me. 

This year’s Family Weekend was a blast. Everyone in my family is excited for the next one. We are especially looking forward to seeing the sheet signs in the neighborhood again. For the future here at UD we hope that more families can come and enjoy time with their loved ones and enjoy the different activities surrounding campus life. 

Photo of the Pride of Dayton Marching Band on Family Weekend, courtesy of Rivera.

Rivera’s Family Weekend Experience

One of the first events of the weekend was a performance by the Pride of Dayton marching band. The pride of Dayton Marching Band has been performing since 1905 at football games, band festivals and parades across Ohio. They are also part of the regional pride band as well, in which the students from the University of Dayton, Wright State University and Sinclair Community College unite. This particular event took place in the Humanities Plaza from 6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. on Friday and the audience was full of students, faculty and families. As the marching band came in you could see how excited and supportive the audience was to see them perform for the first time in this school year. Overall, this event was the best way to start this extremely eventful weekend and the expressions of happiness from the families that were present was priceless. 

Wanda Nazario, Flyer mother, said when she reflects on her experience of the activities that she attended during Family Weekend, “The experience during Family Weekend was unforgettable, from the moment that I made reservations for the events to being able to walk from my daughter’s residence to the different places on campus to observing everyone enjoying seeing students showing their parents the buildings as if they knew them all their lives. We had the opportunity to visit the Law school and speak with the Dean of Admissions as well as a current law student and also see the wonderful band show which filled us with great emotion.”

Nazario added, “One of the events that my father and youngest son enjoyed the most was the event that El Orgullo Latino hosted on Saturday. We had a great time, we sang and danced the whole time and nothing made me happier than seeing the face of happiness of my daughter, her Puerto Rican friends and the other Latinos who participated, which confirmed that they are in a happy environment.”

Rivera and fellow students on Family Weekend.

Nazario said that thanks to this family weekend, she headed back home with tranquility and peace knowing that UD was going to take care of her daughter. 

As one of the Flyer mothers mentioned, she attended with her family the event hosted by El Orgullo Latino, which was attended by many students from the UD Latinx community. Parents got to see how large and diverse the Latinx community is here. There were about 40 students accompanied by their families at this event who experienced a little of how things are here at the EOL house. There was music, food and many games in which everyone participated. For many Latinx students this was one of the best experiences that they have had since they got here This type of event brought them exciting emotions due to having a taste from home here at their new home. The EOL members did an amazing job at welcoming students and their families to the house, which is located in the student neighborhood. 

Freshman Maria Fernanda Martinez said, “Home for me is the warm sand, the clear saltwater and in the background your Hispanic mom screaming at you to put sunscreen on. I’ve missed that. Coming to Dayton has been a huge change, but the fact that I have other Hispanics to relate to has made the transition a lot easier. Family weekend was the highlight of my first two months here, due to the love and comfort that I experienced at the EOL event with my family.”

Overall, family weekend was an excellent opportunity for the UD community of students, parents, siblings, grandparents, alumni and faculty to come together and enjoy each other’s company. Family weekend allows students to show their parents the UD community they are so proud to be a part of. Looking to the future, family weekend is a tradition that is sure to carry on for many years to come

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