Mason Celebrates Its ‘Family Tree’ During Family Weekend

Posted: October 5, 2010 at 4:38 pm, Last Updated: October 5, 2010 at 4:39 pm

By Robin Herron

A delicious dinner on Friday night kicks off the weekend's activities. Photo by Lori Wilson

Can you imagine packing golf, Virginia Opera’s “Rigoletto,” games, wine tasting, star gazing, “Toy Story 3” and a brunch with green eggs and ham all into one weekend?

Believe it or not, those are just a few of the activities happening on Mason’s Fairfax Campus during The Mason Family Tree — Family Weekend 2010, Oct. 15–17. The 10th annual event offers families dozens of opportunities to socialize and become acquainted with all that the university provides, from academics to community service opportunities and athletics.

And even for families that have visited Mason before, there’s sure to be something new to see and do, in addition to favorite annual events such as Mason Madness, the kick-off to the men’s and women’s basketball season; and the Mason Family BBQ and Gameshow.

Linda and Vic Nigro enjoyed last year’s Family Weekend when their son, Robert, was a freshman, and they are coming back for more. Their eldest son, Christopher, may even join them.

The Nigros, who live in Wall Township, N.J., haven’t seen their son since move-in day, and they are anxious to meet his roommates. Robert Nigro, who is majoring in computer game design, lives on campus in a suite with three juniors.

Mason Madness, which opens basketball season, is a dramatic and spirit-filled event. Photo by Lori Wilson

“We hope to spend a lot of time with him and his friends,” Linda Nigro says. In the process, the family plans to see comedian Seth Meyers at the Patriot Center, visit George Mason’s Gunston Hall estate, take in the men’s soccer game and see the new buildings on campus.

“We are looking forward to seeing the new hotel and conference center. It looks like it came out beautiful!” Linda Nigro says. She adds, “We love the campus, we were very impressed with it.”

Judging from the number of people who have already registered for Family Weekend, the Nigros aren’t the only family that finds the activity selection appealing. According to Katie Murray, assistant director of family programs and services in the Office of Orientation and Family Programs and Services, “Our numbers are huge this year. We’ve got 2,000 registered so far.”

The theme of “the family tree” seems especially appropriate as more people participate in the annual event. Murray explains that the theme provides a great way to visualize all the connections that Mason has — to students and their family members, as well as to faculty and staff members and their families.

“We want to emphasize that everything during Family Weekend is open to everyone in the Mason community, including faculty and staff families.”

Most of the Family Weekend activities are included in the $42 cost for adults ($25 for children age 3–12; free for children under age 3). Murray notes that most families have added tickets to the Seth Meyers appearance, even though there is an additional charge to see him. The opera, Brooklyn Rider concert, golf, and the Gunston Hall tour have additional, although discounted, fees.

For more details on Family Weekend and to register, see the Office of Orientation and Family Programs and Services web site.

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