Parent and Family Weekend 2022 brings together loved ones from across the country

On a late summer weekend in September, Bobcat families from across the country gathered in Banner Elk to celebrate and spend time with their students on the Lees-McRae campus.

The weekend was full of fun activities and family bonding opportunities, and for freshman Wildlife Biology major and Creative Writing minor Cora Stevens, it was a wonderful opportunity to show off her home away from home.

Stevens’ mother, father, and younger sister traveled nearly 10 hours to Banner Elk from their hometown of Waggoner, Illinois to spend a weekend with their new Bobcat.

This being the first time her family has visited her since beginning school, Stevens said she was most excited to introduce them to the area and let them experience the landscape, which she said is very different from Illinois.

“My favorite part was being able to show off the environment,” Stevens said. “ My parents think it's super cool. They think the contrast from the whole mountainous environment here to Illinois, which is just flat, is super neat. They think it's a very nice-looking campus. They just overall appreciate the aesthetic of the environment.”

While Stevens said much of their weekend was spent enjoying the natural environment and landscape and indulging in some delicious foodshe and her family also appreciated the events that were scheduled and organized by the school.

After check-in on Friday afternoon, the college hosted three informational sessions all about the student experience at Lees-McRae. Parents and family learned about the best ways to support their student throughout the college years, and how Lees-McRae strives to do the same.

That night students, parents, and families were invited up to Beech Mountain for a special dinner in collaboration between the college and Beech Mountain Resort, before taking the scenic route back down the mountain for a women’s volleyball game in Williams Gymnasium.

Saturday morning brought one of Stevens’ and her family’s favorite parts of the weekend, the family brunch at The Summit. A family photo op and a guided hike along Hemlock Trail that afternoon allowed everyone to take in the beautiful scenery that makes the Lees-McRae campus so special. A movie on Tate Lawn with popcorn, candy, and drinks that evening rounded out a perfect late summer day in the High Country.

On Sunday, visiting family members got to show some school spirit as they cheered on both the men’s and women’s soccer teams to victories over the Francis Marion Patriots.

Looking back over the weekend, Stevens said she enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with her family and show them around her new home. Because her family does live far away, she said having a weekend designated by the college for family visits made it much easier for them to organize a trip.

“They did just enjoy having a set-up opportunity, and dates that were specified for a designated family weekend as opposed to being like, ‘Oh, what if we just went and saw her for a weekend’?” Stevens said. “The fact that the campus had time like that set aside specifically for family I think was really convenient, and it made it easier to schedule things together.”

By Maya JarrellSeptember 20, 2022
FamiliesCampus Life