Kyle Radzak / The Daily Gamecock

Parents Weekend a chance for families to reconnect

Parents and families of students poured in from all over the country this past weekend to join in the gameday festivities and get a glimpse into campus life.

Over 8,600 family members gathered for parties, tailgating, gameday and food as part of the annual tradition of Parents Weekend.

“We haven’t seen her yet,” said Shaunelle Ogwal, parent of first-year retail student Kira Ogwal. “We’re waiting, we’re excited.” 

Families that came to Parents Weekend were representative of the student body with a good many being both in-state and out-of-state. Some families crossed the country just to see their students.

“Three hours on the first big plane … Less than twenty minutes on the last plane,” eight-year-old Aydan Bauman said when describing their trip from Minnesota to see his older brother. 

One of the weekend's most popular events was the President’s Welcome Reception on the Horseshoe. Families were able to tour the first floor of the President’s House and take the famous selfie with President Harris Pastides himself.

Another highlight of Parents Weekend was the reunion of students and families. Several families shared their excitement upon seeing their students, some of whom had not been together since move-in day. 

“This year he hasn’t been home since school started, so we wanted to come see him,” said Stuart Coale, parent of second-year psychology student Austin Coale. 

The D’Alleva family resides in Haverhill, Massachusetts, and eagerly awaited seeing their son for the first time. The family will not be together again until fall break due to the distance.

“We saw him last night after his last class … He came right to the hotel, and it was so exciting!” said Kim D’Alleva, parent of first-year student Justin D’Alleva. 

As service is a focus at USC, the Leadership and Service Center sought to convey this to parents through a quick service project honoring US veterans.

“I think it’s a good way for parents to see something that the Leadership and Service Center does,” said Gabby Jabbour, third-year global supply chain and operations management and marketing student and LSC employee. 

Parents Weekend is a favorite event of Pastides because he loves watching the students and their parents interact.

“We have 8,600 parents this weekend and we think we’re gonna shake every single parent’s hand,” Pastides said. 

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