The Forest Welcomes Families for First Time in Two Years

by Emily Pieczyrak

3 mins read

Acorns rained down on students as The Forest waited in anticipation for families to visit.

This past weekend, parents were welcomed back to campus for the first time since the start of the pandemic almost two years ago. From Sept. 24 to Sept. 27, the Resident Hall Association and Student Activities cohosted events for Family Weekend.

After this two year hiatus, there was a lot of chatter on The Path leading up to the weekend.

“Every once in a while I remind myself that parents are coming this weekend. I can’t believe it,” Kirsty Hand (‘25) said.

Anticipation was so high, that some families arrived as early as Thursday to see their Drewids. 

While Friday, Sept. 24 featured a showing of Madagascar in the EC for family movie night, some families opted to spend time with their college students and their friends. One family spent time in the Tolley-Brown lounge playing a game of cards.

“It feels weird to be back in a dorm,” Andy Hasse, father of Samantha Hasse (‘25), said. He said that playing card games with his daughter and her friends reminded him of when he was in college. Eventually, tables were pushed together to accommodate the growing number of students and their parents joining the game. 

“Everyone is enjoying themselves,” Samantha Hasse said. She continued, “We are spending quality time together which is really nice since we don’t usually get to at home.”

Samantha’s family drove 40 minutes to visit her, but other families flew out to New Jersey in order to visit their students. Rhiannon Ceely’s (‘25) parents traveled from California for the weekend. 

“It took us two hours to get here from JFK,” Christa Ceely, mother of Rhiannon Ceely (‘25), said. 

In order to make the most of their visit, the family explored the downtown Madison area and got dinner with their daughter to spend quality time together. 

Saturday, Sept. 25, was all about the Fall Festival which included food trucks, life-sized jenga and pumpkin painting. For many Drew families, Family Weekend offered the perfect opportunity to see their children and their friends after they got settled into life at Drew. 

Photos courtesy of Adam Smith.

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