Families reunite for Parents Weekend

FAMU Parents Weekend has been in existence for over 20 years, giving parents a perspective of everyday college life. This year the event was hosted from September 14-16.

Activities for Parents Weekend included classroom visits, a fish fry, and a ‘meet and greet’ session at the president’s house, with his leadership team in attendance.

Emmit Alexander, a 1973 FAMU graduate from New Orleans, expressed his joy of being at Parents Weekend.

“This is my first activity,” Alexander said at Saturday’s breakfast reception. “I always enjoy FAMU every time I come.”

Alexander said that he took pleasure in this year’s Parents Weekend and said that he has been coming to the event since the first of his four children decided to attend FAMU.

As a proud parent and former football player, Alexander shared a bit of his own history at FAMU.

“I played football from 1969-1973,” Alexander said. “I’ve been coming here since 1973.”

Alexander said he had a lot of memories at FAMU.

Carol Taylor, a parent from Maryland, on the other hand was first introduced to FAMU through her son. Taylor said her experience on campus was pleasant.

“It’s a great college atmosphere,” Taylor said. “Everybody’s really friendly.”

Taylor said she had a good time on campus and enthusiastically described the festivities she went to.

“I went to the fish fry and talked to a ton of parents,” Taylor said. “I went to the meet and greet at the president’s house and spent time with my son.”

Many parents showed up to see their children and participate in the activities, but parents were not the only ones in attendance. Students also came in support of their parents who were alumni.

Ralph Burns Jr. and his wife Rebecca Burns showed up to see his father Ralph Lee Burns, who graduated in 1963, get inducted into FAMU’s Sports Hall Of Fame.

“My father is going to be on the wall of distinction,” the younger Burns said. “I’m proud and honored.”

Like Burns, Lisa Smith also came to support her family. Smith was at the football game with her husband Andre Smith, a FAMU alum.

“My husband graduated in 1984,” Smith said proudly. “He’s the middle son of Dr. Walter L. Smith, FAMU’s seventh president.”

Smith was very happy to be there with her husband and although she didn’t graduate from FAMU, she was glad to be on the campus.

“I’ve been coming to the football] games since 1996,” Smith said. “I love to watch the band perform and the crowd, the people, the energy is great.”

For some parents, the FAMU environment is the main attraction.

Rick Butler, a parent from New York said he likes the scenary of FAMU’s campus, and he llikes the events on FAMU’S campus.

“Its large,great and spacious,” Butler said. “I like to watch the marcing 100 an the FaAMU Connections are good.”

Mariam Campbell, a 1986 graduate of FAMU expressed similar sentiments.

Campbell was in Tallahassee for the weekend supporting his fraternity and revisiting his old school.

“I socialized with the brothers who stayed in Florida and Alabama and it was a like a family reunion,” Campbell said. “It was great being a graduate of 1986 to come back and see the growth of the campus in general.”

As much as Campbell enjoyed the festivities and the overall atmosphere, he could not leave Tallahassee without attending the FAMU vs. Howard football game.

“I think there’s been some progress since the first game,” Campbell said while thinking of the victory he’d seen. “To see your team win makes going to the game worthwhile.”