Panther families flocked to UNI’s campus for Family Weekend, with an opening reception held in the lobby of the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center on Saturday morning, Oct. 19.
President Mark Nook welcomed the families and emphasized the importance of staying connected to their students.
“My wife and I sent three kids off to college, and keeping in touch is a very important thing,” he said. “So thank you for being here, supporting them, learning a little bit more about the experiences they have and learning some of the cool things about our campus as well as the community of Cedar Falls and Waterloo.”
Following Nook’s introduction, The SingPins — an a capella group based out of the UNI Varsity Men’s Glee Club — performed a short set that included “Hooked on a Feeling,” “The Longest Time” and the UNI fight song.
Last to speak was Doug Schwab, UNI’s head wrestling coach. He commended university staff, including Nook and his wife Cheryl, for their devotion to UNI students.
“I see Mark and Cheryl here, the type of people they are, how invested they are, how much they care about not just the university, but each individual,” Schwab said. “I don’t think that happens everywhere.”
Schwab assured parents of the school’s commitment to each student.
“We’re gonna take care of them. We’re gonna love them, and we’re gonna send them off years from now and they’re gonna be in a lot better place,” he said. “Hopefully everybody feels that same thing — it is a family here. And man, I sell family every single day because I believe it. And hopefully you guys believe in UNI, too.”
Throughout the morning, families were able to enjoy complimentary breakfast food and beverages, pick up free school apparel courtesy of the UNI Bookstore and stop by information tables from the Cedar Falls Downtown District, UNI Business and other groups. TC and TK mingled with the crowd and posed for photos and the UNI cheerleading and dance team gave brief performances.
Other events throughout the weekend included open houses and demonstrations at the Botanical Center, Wellness and Recreation Center, physics and chemistry programs, Study Abroad Center, Rod Library and more. Families could also watch various sporting events, participate in a four-mile long “RUN4UNI” race and attend performances offered by the School of Music and International Dance Theatre (IDT) and Orchesis dance companies.