Parents flock to Family Weekend

Families regroup on campus to take in Adam Lau, Core classes
by Marcus Koontz
WHITMAN COLLEGE PIONEER

Whitman’s Family Weekend is one of the few times during the year when the families of Whitman students get to experience Walla Walla. “Downtown is busier than I’ve seen it in a long time,” said Matt Andring, class of 2006. Andring works at two downtown businesses: Bright’s Candies and Book and Game. “At Bright’s it’s insane, people at the line were six deep,” said Andring. “It was nice to meet my housemates’ parents, though.”

“[Whitman’s] Family Weekend greatly increases business,” said Book and Game employee Nathan. “It also increases our influence from the world at large; we get to see what people outside Walla Walla are interested in.”

Dianne, another employer at Book and Game, said, “Family Weekend also enhances the atmosphere downtown.” She described a kind of buzz that develops about the streets.

Some downtown businesses are having a hard time keeping up with the influx of people. “Merchants closed three hours early and sold out,” said Nathan. A sign outside Merchants read “Closed, closed and closed,” and the employees inside were busy moving things around the kitchen amid an empty café.

Krista, owner of Liberty, said, “It wasn’t as busy as I thought it would be.” She continued, “I used to work at Merchants and I remember always trying to be sick on Family Weekend because it was so busy.”

Business was especially good at the local coffee houses. “Friday was crazy, I was sweating profusely. It was so busy I had to take my shirt off,” said Carlie, a barista at Coffee Perk. “We made amazing tips, though.”

From receptions to musical performances to theater sports and dining hall meals, families of Whitman students had a lot of activities from which to choose during Family Weekend. Parents and siblings of students could see a show of the heavens in the planetarium, go to a talent show in celebration of the United Nations, or attend a mini-lecture presented by one of our distinguished faculty members.

Mr. Braus, father of sophomore Mike Braus, said, “I think it’s good to come and visit my son.” When asked what he liked about the visit so far, Braus said, “This is a beautiful place and the core discussion was good.”

Sandy and Steve Laney came to visit their daughter Jill. “We love [Family Weekend], and this is our second time coming to it,” said Mrs. Laney. “We attended the study abroad presentations, the internship event and one of the mini lectures. They were very articulate, personable presentations.” When asked about hotel rooms, Mr. Laney said, “We had trouble finding a hotel room last year, but not this year.”

Waiting outside of Chism Hall for Adam Lau’s senior voice recital to start, Paul Goldenberg, father of Jonathan Goldenberg, said, “I’m having a wonderful time. I’m getting to meet my kid again.” Jonathan said that “the placement of concerts, I feel, is really nice … It’s nice just having something to do with dad here.” Mr. Goldenberg was impressed with the Theater Sports group: “Theater Sports was terrific; I’ve seen professional troupes that weren’t as good.”

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