Family Weekend: 10/9-11

The date for Family Weekend was announced at 9:18 am this morning (we had a tech glitch that kept it from going right at 9). Family Weekend will be Friday, October 9th through Saturday, October 11th. We hope you will plan to join us.

I blogged earlier this week about the challenges of choosing the various event weekends and all the considerations that go into it. In a perfect world, we would have put together our own ideal schedule of games from which to choose, but the reality is we work with the schedule we are given. Please trust me when I say that this cross-functional team talked through all options and needs and made the best decision we could.

So, for the first time, Family Weekend will feature a Friday night football game. That’s a change from years past, and while change can feel uncomfortable, there are also a few clear positives. We will absolutely know game time well before the normal 10-day window that is given us due to football television scheduling. So you will all have greater control over your own schedules. Not having to guess on a Saturday game time is clutch if you want to make dinner reservations (and I’d make those reservations well in advance if you can). And no sunblock required and no sunburn from sitting for 3+ hours on the sunny side of the stadium. Our skin will thank us for that.

Athletics tells me there are many ticket options which will be on sale in the Family Weekend block in the spring, but there are many premium seating options (Touchdown Club and Flow Lexus Club) and parking options which will go fast. For more information contact the Wake Forest Ticket office at 336-758-3322.

Having a Friday night game will also give the Family Weekend planning team a terrific new option, which is to offer programming on Saturday. With a Saturday football game, no events can be planned beyond say 9:30 or 10 am, because we could have a noon game. Now we will have the option of increased Saturday activities, and I am told from the Family Weekend team that there has long been feedback about wanting more programs.

There are tradeoffs too that must be acknowledged. In Family Weekends past, there have been some student philanthropy events on Friday night. Theoretically those can move to Saturday evening, and knowing the date this far in advance will hopefully allow student organizations ample time to plan and make adjustments. Holding those events on Saturday may also allow more families to arrive in time to join in the fun.

I am a glass-half-full girl, so it’s my nature to see the positives vs. focusing on the negatives. I think there is a chance to have a really whopper, wonderful experience with a Friday night game – so much so, that you might hope to have a Friday game in future Family Weekends. We have a tremendous football team and Athletics is committed to a world-class fan experience. A nice October night with a football game could be a real treat.

Closing thoughts. You will probably want to make hotel reservations quickly. There is a partial list of hotels on the WFU website, or you can see the Visit Winston-Salem website for more options (some families also choose to use Airbnb, vrbo, or other private rental options). 

The Office of the Dean of Students (who plans Family Weekend) will be working on the schedule this spring and it will go live in early July. Know that they will be planning a fantastic weekend and a warm welcome to campus. We can’t wait to see you then!

Finally, I wish a GUNG HAY FAT CHOY to all families celebrating the Lunar New Year and the coming of the Year of the Rat. Wishing your family good health, good fortune, peace and joy. May luck come and stay at your home.

EDITED TO ADD: The Student Health Service sent out an informational email about the coronavirus. Read it here.

— by Betsy Chapman, Ph.D. (’92, MA ’94)

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