More than 4,000 expected to visit during Stanford’s Family Weekend

Stanford is preparing to welcome more than 4,000 visitors on Feb. 28 and 29 for the annual Family Weekend, which gives parents and guardians a glimpse into Stanford academic and campus life.

More than 4,000 family members are expected on campus for Stanford’s Feb. 28-29 Family Weekend, the annual event featuring faculty lectures, information sessions, campus tours and open houses – all designed to give parents and guardians a glimpse into their undergraduate student’s life at the university.

Family Weekend

More than 4,000 family members are expected to attend the annual Stanford Family Weekend on Feb. 28 and 29. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

As in the past, the event is headquartered at the Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center, where families can begin checking in on Friday at 8:30 a.m. Provost Persis Drell will deliver the welcoming address on Friday at 10 a.m., and President Marc Tessier-Lavigne will address parents and guardians and answer their questions on Friday at 1:30 p.m. Both events will take place in Memorial Auditorium.

In an effort to enhance the event’s sustainable practices, the Office of Special Events and Protocol, which coordinates Family Weekend, has introduced a digital version of the schedule of events brochure, available in advance to everyone who registered online. Also new is a custom Google Map that includes all the Family Weekend venues to assist with wayfinding on campus.

Parents and guardians will have the opportunity to focus on student experience by class during the Friday Conversations for Families, which are 10:45 a.m. panel discussions with Stanford administrators. Harry Elam, senior vice provost for education, will moderate the discussion for families of first-year students; Susie Brubaker-Cole, vice provost for student affairs, will moderate for sophomore families; Laura Dominguez Chan, associate dean of career education and director of career communities will moderate for junior families; and Jan Marie Barker-Alexander, assistant vice provost for Centers for Equity, Community and Leadership, will moderate for senior families.

Always popular among Family Weekend attendees are the Back to School Classes with members of the Stanford faculty and administrators who specialize in working with students. New this year is “What Does It Mean to Be a 21st-Century Museum?” presented by Susan Dackerman, the John and Jill Freidenrich Director at the Cantor Arts Center. Among the other offered classes are:

  • The Art and Science of a Life Well Lived, Aneel Chima, director of the division of Health and Human Performance
  • The Future of Food from the Ocean, Jim Leape, the William and Eva Price Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
  • Ethical Dilemmas in Artificial Intelligence and Privacy, Mehran Sahami, professor (teaching) of computer science
  • How to Depolarize American Politics, Larry Diamond, senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and at the Hoover Institution
  • The World’s Strangest Borders and How They Got that Way, Kenneth Schultz, director of the Program in International Relations and professor of political science

Family Weekend will also include campus tours, offered on both Friday and Saturday. The tours will include Campus Planning and Architecture, the Anderson Collection at Stanford University, Home of Champions, the David Rumsey Map Center and the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve.

Community centers will host receptions and open houses, including The Markaz Resource Center, the Haas Center for Public Service, the Bechtel International Center and the Women’s Community Center.

Representatives from more than two dozen campus departments will convene Saturday morning for a Resource Fair at the Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center, ready to share information about the services and programs designed to enhance the student experience at Stanford.

The weekend’s activities will culminate Saturday with the Entertainment Extravaganza!, sponsored by the Parents’ Club of Stanford University. The student groups performing this year are Basmati Raas, a competitive garbaa raas team; Common Origins, an urban/hip-hop dance group; Everyday People, a hip-hop, Motown, R&B and soul a cappella group; the Stanford Collaborative Orchestra, a student-run symphonic ensemble; Stanford Counterpoint, an all-women a cappella group; and Stanford Jump Rope, which offers a high-energy jump rope performance.