In its 65th year, event attracts 8,000 families, director says

By Jayda Evans

Arizona Daily Wildcat

UA students' stomachs are full and their refrigerators are stocked. That can only mean one thing: Family Weekend '95 is over.

Eleven Family Weekend student directors, 40 student volunteers, and several clubs worked to make the 65th anniversary of Family Weekend the best yet.

"About 8,000 families came in from as far away as Korea and as close as Tucson," Mark Vitale, student director, said. "We also like to count the game, so that's another 58,000, and all the parents who came in just to see their kids, but didn't participate in any of our programs. Giving the parents a chance to have fun while seeing their students is what Family Weekend is all about."

Vitale helped organize 52 different activities for the families to take part in, but everyone was involved in the hoopla.

La Paz Residence Hall had its grand opening (see story on Page 6) while Yuma and Yavapai honors halls had a tailgate for residents and their families. Students also dragged their parents to their favorite bars and places to eat around the university. Aside from the game, the largest event was the pre-game tailgate where about 13,000 people ate Bar-B-Que while listening to the "Pride of Arizona" play "Bear Down."

From campus tours and tennis tournaments to helicopter rides over the city, parents and other family members participated in many different activities during Family Weekend.

"The weather was beautiful and it was nice seeing our son," Barbara Mauriber said. Mauriber flew in from New Jersey to see her son, Matt. "We went to the Desert Museum and saw students put on a play. The play was excellent and very professional. We went to the football game, of course, but left early because we were getting attacked by moths. It's been a very nice weekend; we'll definitely come again."

It's back to business as usual for Matt Mauriber, business and public administration freshman. Matt took advantage of the free food and shopping excursions, but said he can't wait to relax and leave his clothing on the floor after his parents leave.

Mandy Trangsrud, arts and sciences freshman, will also go back to her normal habits when her parents leave for Tempe. Trangsrud's mother went to the university 30 years ago, making this weekend an early Homecoming as well.

"Seeing my parents is the best part of this weekend," Mandy said. "I also had lots of free food and the chance to show them my life. It was also nice to go off campus and see Tucson, since they have a car and I don't."

The student volunteers considered this year's weekend "mission complete" by yesterday afternoon. The coordinators played in golf carts and joked to relieve the stress from the event.

"We'll go to sleep now," Vitale said. "We were getting up at 4 a.m. every day to get ready for this. The staff will take a few days off, but it's back to work for me (today) because we have to evaluate this year's programs and get ready to put on next year's (programs)."

As families arrive home, their hearts will be content in knowing their students are OK, having fun and doing well in class.

"It's nice to see that my son is all right," Lee Mauriber said. "If only I had known about this college when I was in school."

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