Be There: Family Weekend 2011, Oct. 14-16

Posted: September 26, 2011 at 1:02 am, Last Updated: September 23, 2011 at 4:39 pm

By Robin Herron

Mason sophomore Tabetha Napora, right, and her sister, Patty, enjoyed Family Weekend in 2010. Photo courtesy of Gail Napora

“Awesome” and “so much fun” is what sophomore Tabetha Napora’s mother, Gail, has to say about Mason’s Family Weekend.

Last year, the entire Napora family, including mom, dad and children Patty, 16, Katrina, 13, and Nick, 11, traveled from their home in Broadway, Va., to join their Mason student, an anthropology major, at the annual event.

Gail Napora says the family especially enjoyed last year’s book presentation, the welcome dinner, the observatory tour and the Sunday family breakfast — all events that will be offered again, with some variations, this year.

“We totally recommend this event for all families and parents because there is something for everyone,” Napora says enthusiastically.

Junior Mary McElveen’s family has the distinction of winning the Family Weekend trivia contest two years in a row. However, the art and visual technology major’s elder brother Mike is unable to attend this year, and her mother, Laurie, says they probably won’t compete again. “He is awesome during the final round and has nerves of steel,” she explains.

Pre-Mason Madness activities get everyone warmed up for the main event. Photo by Lori A. Wilson

This year, Laurie McElveen, who lives in Chesapeake, Va., is looking forward to such Family Weekend activities as a trip to statesman George Mason’s Gunston Hall estate, a tour of the de Laski Performing Arts Building and a seminar on study abroad. She adds, “We love the comedians — we’ve seen Wayne Brady and Seth Myers. We like Wanda Sykes, too.” (Sykes is appearing at the Patriot Center on Oct. 15.)

Both families say that it’s great to catch up with their Mason students during Family Weekend, too.

Following are just a few highlights of the upcoming weekend; dozens of activities are on tap.

  • For the first time, a Family Weekend 5K Run/Walk will be held on Sunday morning at 8 a.m. Registration includes official timing, snacks and a T-shirt.
  • The Welcome Dinner eases families into the weekend. Photo by Lori A. Wilson

    The Mason Family Book Presentation features Dave Isay, founder of StoryCorps, who will discuss “Listening Is an Act of Love,” a book that includes some of the remarkable stories collected by StoryCorps.

  • The Mason Family BBQ and Gameshow allows families to compete against one another in the interactive Think Fast trivia game — and win a $200 prize.
  • RATurday Night Live – Mason Idol Edition lets families sing karaoke and relax at Mason’s own sports bar.
  • Service opportunities will be available for families to contribute their time at the Capital Area Community Food Bank Warehouse, the Northern Virginia Family Services Thrift Shop, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Earth Sangha or Reston Interfaith.
  • Special optional events at Mason venues during the weekend include comedian Wanda Sykes, the Branford Marsalis Quartet, the Virginia Symphony presenting American classics, the Virginia Opera performing “Aida” and the one-man epic play, “7 (x1) Samurai.”
  • The Pre-Mason Madness and Mason Madness Celebration is the wild and exciting kick-off to the men’s and women’s basketball seasons, with games, contests, giveaways, performances and more.

See the Orientation and Family Programs and Services website for all the details and to register for individual events.




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