Parents' Weekend

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April 11, 2011

Bradley students gave their parents and families an inside look at life on the Hilltop last weekend. Every semester, families are invited into the University’s classrooms, residence halls, athletic facilities – and into the daily lives of Bradley students for Parents’/Family Weekend.

Freshman Shelley Brosnan’s parents and younger brother drove to Peoria from Park Ridge, Ill., to check out the sorority house where Shelley will be living next year and watch her club soccer match Saturday evening.

“It’s nice to spend several hours on campus to see what her life is like at Bradley,” said Shelley’s mom, Beth. “I’m really impressed to see how she’s able to handle her schedule and manage her time without the help she was used to at home.”

The University strives to ensure that the Bradley Experience is enjoyed not only by students, but also extended to their parents and families.

“We know that with this generation of college students, more so than any other generation, both the students and the parents need to feel connected,” said Dr. Alan Galsky, vice president for Student Affairs. “These students were closer than any other generation to their parents before coming to Bradley, and we want to make sure we’re helping to nurture that bond while they’re here, too.”

From arts and athletics to philanthropy and social events, the weekend was packed with activities designed to help students and their families reconnect for a weekend. One of the biggest attractions was the “Red White Jam: the Sights and Sounds of Spirit on the Hilltop,” a collaborative performance by the Bradley Basketball Band, the Bravettes Dance Team, and the Bradley Cheer Squad.

“It was a high energy, fast-paced hour of fun; part pep rally, part entertainment, and part crowd participation,” said Dr. David Vroman, director of bands. “The students put so much work into their performances through the basketball season, so it’s a great way to showcase their work in a new way while bringing closure to their season.”

Bradley’s new Renaissance Coliseum provided the perfect venue for the event, which Vroman and Cheer Squad Coach Ryan Hinnen hope to repeat annually.

“It’s a good way for us to demonstrate everything that we do here,” Hinnen said. “Basketball audiences don’t get to see our bigger stunts because we’re required to use a mat on hardwood floors for the high stuff, so I’m happy the kids get to show off their hard work.”

Outdoor events for Parents’/Family Weekend included the 3rd Annual Car & Bike Show, a women’s tennis match, and complimentary family photos with the statue of Lydia Moss Bradley.

For Shelley Brosnan, who kept her family busy with one event after another, the highlight of the weekend was simply spending time together.

“They had no idea what my life was like every day, so it was really fun to show them where I go to class, the expansion projects going on around campus, and have them meet my friends,” Brosnan said.