SHSU Raises The Stakes For Bearkat Family Weekend
July 26, 2012
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt
Whether you have two of a kind, three of a kind, two pair, or a full house, Sam Houston State University will offer plenty of action for families of all sizes during this year’s Bearkat Family Weekend, Sept. 7-9.
When SHSU welcomes families “to the Fabulous Huntsvegas, Texas” for this year’s Las Vegas-themed event, Bearkats can show off the campus, introduce faculty and administrators to their families, check out all that SHSU has to offer, and even attend a football game as part of the traditional offerings.
But this year, the Dean of Students’ Office is also raising the stakes with several new events that will encourage families to attend all three days and deal out a host of prizes, according to Chelsea Smith, assistant dean of students for parent relations and special programs.
“Since we call it ‘family weekend’ we wanted to offer a weekend full of activities. This year we have special events for alumni, spirit events for the first home game, and new family activities to encourage families to make it a weekend event,” she said. “Families will get to spend quality time with their student and really get to see how they are thriving on campus. Students get to show off what they know about SHSU and allow their parents to kick back and have fun while they are the ‘hosts’ of the weekend.”
After touring campus on Friday (Sept. 7), families with a “Bearkat legacy” can mingle and network with other alumni during the inaugural Alumni Legacy Reception from 4-6 p.m. on the second-floor patio of the John R. Ragsdale Visitor and Alumni Center.
Sponsored by the SHSU Alumni Relations office, the reception will be open to anyone who has a family history of SHSU attendance, be it parents, grandparent, cousins or even nephews, according to Smith.
“We decided to team with the Alumni Relations Office this year to host a Legacy Reception because we want to honor the tradition that Sam Houston has to offer and connect those students who had family members attend an opportunity to meet and greet one another. It’s kind of like a homecoming reunion for legacies,” Smith said. “People that attend the event will be able to mix and mingle with SHSU administrators and faculty/staff while enjoying signature Bearkat drinks and hors d’oeuvres with other Bearkat Legacy families.”
Following the reception, Bearkats and families can go “all in” for the first Family Weekend Pep Rally, featuring speakers such as university President Dana Gibson, head football Coach Willie Fritz, Bearkat football players, the Bearkat Marching Band and spirit squads, and emceed by Miss Sam Houston Angelic Ortiz. The event will begin at 7 p.m. in Bearkat Plaza and is sponsored by Residence Life, SHSU Athletics and the Dean of Students’ Office.
“The way it worked out this year, which is really great, Family Weekend is the very first home game, so we wanted families to get excited not only about having something to do on Friday night during family weekend but also about going to the game on Saturday,” Smith said. “We’re going to have giveaways, rally towels, and a DJ. There’s going to be a lot going on in Bearkat Plaza. We’re really super excited about it.”
The pep rally will be followed by a Program Council-sponsored event.
On Saturday, families can “check” out traditional Family Weekend lineup, including having coffee with the administrators, and visiting various departmental and program open houses, and anteing up at the Vegas-style annual Carnival on the Concourse and lunch.
“During the carnival, different departments and organizations will have theme-centered games including Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?, question-and-answer games, Plinko, and things like that. These are games for students and for a younger audience to get prizes and giveaways,” Smith said.
“During the lunch we will have an Elvis Presley impersonator perform,” she said. “His name is Billy Wayde and he’s known as ‘Houston’s Best Elvis.’”
Families that don’t “bust” after a morning of activities can head over to Elliott T. Bowers Stadium, where the culmination of Saturday’s events will begin at 3:30 p.m. with the annual “Classic Car Cruise-In” in the north lot.
This will “fold” into the pre-game tailgate party, also in the north lot, where Bearkat football fans can support the reigning Southland Championship team for the opening game of the season against Incarnate Word, which will begin at 6 p.m.
On Sunday, families can wind down from the high stakes weekend with an Interdenominational Christian Worship Service from 10:30-11:30 a.m. in the Farrington Pit.
Early registration for Bearkat Family Weekend will end July 31, before which the cost is $5 per student and $10 per family member. The regular registration deadline is Aug. 27, before which the cost is $7 per student and $12 per family member. Registration can be completed online this year through the Bearkat Family Weekend website.
All registered family members receive a T-shirt, welcome gift, continental breakfast, coffee with administrators, catered lunch, and can attend the Carnival on the Concourse, tailgating at Bowers Stadium, and the Classic Car Show.
“You can’t beat that,” Smith said. “You get so much for $12 for the entire weekend.”
Football tickets must be purchased separately or in advance through the Athletic Department. Parents who purchase their tickets using the family weekend promo code (found here) will receive $5 off the game ticket.
For more information on Bearkat Family Weekend 2012 events or activities contact SHSU’s Dean of Students’ Office at 936.294.1785 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Bearkat Family Weekend Facebook page. A complete schedule can also be found online at http://www.shsu.edu/~slo_www/weekend/schedule.html.
For more information on sports tickets, visit www.gobearkats.com.
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