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A Family Gathering: 2011 Family & Friends Weekend

Dr. David Braverman shares his thoughts about 2011 Family and Friends Weekend. (Produced by Nate Brown/SCTV3)

Nate Brown

Assistant Multimedia Editor

While seemingly just finishing Pre-Camp, NSO, and the first week of classes, Springfield College played host to relatives from far and wide recently during the college’s annual Family Weekend.  Despite the fact that only the first two weeks of the semester had been completed, Family Weekend was held earlier this year to try and accommodate the majority of the fall athletic schedules.

“I was really pleased that it was very well attended.  I was amazed at the turnout because it was much earlier than we like to [host] it,” said David Braverman, Vice President of Student Affairs, Dean of Students. “We prefer to [have Family Weekend] a little bit later in the semester, usually about four to six weeks into the semester, but our football schedule and our athletic schedules just didn’t coordinate well with that so we ended up having it earlier, and it turned out pretty well.”

Timing, however, wasn’t a cause for concern this year, as the turnout was excellent throughout the weekend, with over 1,000 guests accounted for and attending various programs and events held on campus. There is reason to believe that an even larger crowd was in attendance because certain events didn’t require pre-registering.

Aside from the surplus of sporting events to attend over the course of the weekend, the programming was well attended by many, including Family Bingo Friday night and the on-campus dinner Sunday afternoon.  Usually thought to be a weak spot during a busy three day affair, these events were boisterous and lively, and helped to bring Family Weekend full circle. “That’s always a challenge because on the one hand you want to put compelling things on Friday to get people to come in, or if [family are traveling from far away], you want to give them something to do,” said Braverman.  “So you want to put things out there that people who are here will enjoy and because they are starting to enjoy them more, I think we [got] a better draw.”

Aside from the Family Bingo, several hot commodities that were well attended by families and friends were the activities during the football game, such as caricatures and pennants, the Dueling Pianos show Saturday night in the Campus Union, and the presentation entitled “Any New Tattoos?”, a program that gave parents insight on some of the adjustments their son or daughter may be facing through while transitioning to the college life.

Yet not all of the scheduled activities interested everybody.  Some families preferred to skip the planned programs and simply enjoy one another’s company.

“We had looked at the schedule and there was nothing on the schedule that interested us to [want to] go to,” said Diane Christiano, mother of freshman Quinton Christiano.  “We had already gone to similar programs at SOAR, such as meeting with faculty, so we didn’t feel the need to do that again.  We just wanted to spend time with Quinton because we hadn’t seen him, and we wanted to make it a family time so we didn’t take part in any of the other events.”

Braverman also received help from several important sources, including Annie Ruvolo-Warchol, the Assistant Director of Student Activities. Warchol recently married and is known by many on campus as Annie Ruvolo.

“It’s a real team effort, and the team leader is Ruvolo-Warchol,” said Braverman. “Public Safety, Res Life, Campus Ministry, everybody has a part of [the coordinating]; no one person has to do it all. We were all very successful, and a lot of that had to do with Ruvolo-Warchol’s enthusiasm and planning and pulling people together.”

Nate Brown may be reached at

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