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Family, friends and fun, oh my!
Story by Sara Wesselmann, UNI University Relations online magazine and public relations assistant
As the sounds of accordions and guitars played in the background, the University of Northern Iowa kicked off its annual Family Weekend celebration with Oktoberfest-style beverages and food, accompanied by polka music on College Hill last Friday.
Family Weekend provides a time for students, friends and families to have a special weekend together, including the Orchesis and International Dance Theatre performance, art gallery exhibitions and biology and earth science open houses.
President Ben Allen stressed the importance of having family weekend as an activity here at UNI. "Family Weekend provides a great opportunity for the university to thank the family members who support our students all year long," said Allen.
The next morning, students brought family and friends to catch a "magic show," as UNI chemistry students demonstrated soda explosions and even let some kids play with fire.
Adding an extra layer to their Panther attire, families and friends then gathered for a chilly day of tailgating around the UNI-Dome and the Family Feast Tailgate at Maucker Union Plaza. They later cheered on the Panthers as they defeated the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits, 24-14.
Brothers Phil and Ryan Musson from Iowa City, both students at UNI, invited their friends and family to enjoy some quality time with their parents--and Barbara and Bob were happy to spend some time with their sons.
"I miss them and it's fun to see them in their new home away from home, meet some new friends and see their rooms," said Barbara.
"Coming to UNI gives us a bit of a taste of what life is like for them - how they interact with their campus friends, where they like to go for a special night out -things like that. For a change, they're bringing us into their world rather than coming back into ours," said Bob.
As Family Weekend came to a close, students, family and friends said their goodbyes, while they anticipate the Homecoming celebrations quickly approaching.