Brian Ralph

WPU Hosts Inaugural Family Weekend

WPU hosted its Inaugural Family Weekend in Fall 2022.

The three-day event brought enjoyment and new experiences to our Pacer community. Hosted by the Pacer Family Program, the weekend offered time together and a way for parents to see what life is like for the students.

Things kicked off Friday, October 7 with Unity Fest, a movie on Bingham Lawn, and a Sweet Taste of Raleigh. Saturday’s fun ranged from Coffee with the President to a tour of downtown Raleigh and even a competitive game of Family Feud. Family Weekend concluded on Sunday, October 9 with a Chapel Service, Farewell Brunch, and cheering on the softball team. More than 100 people attended the weekend. 

For Ellen Minnich, participating in Pacer Family Program events, such as Family Weekend, gives her a way to learn more about what her son’s time at WPU is like. 

Her son, Ethan ’26, started at WPU that fall. He was drawn to the University because of his sister. While Ethan’s sister didn’t attend WPU, she toured it in 2015 with her mom. Seven years later, Ellen remembered her tour of WPU and recommended that Ethan check it out.

The University’s competitive Simulation and Game Design program piqued Ethan’s interest in the school. Along with that, WPU’s location was just two hours away from his hometown. Since coming to the school, Ethan has loved finding community in his major and enjoyed the food at Belk Dining Hall. 

When Ellen heard about Family Weekend through social media, she knew it would be the perfect opportunity to see a glimpse of what Ethan’s first semester had been like at WPU. 

Ethan’s older sister was even able to attend the weekend as she lives in Raleigh. 

“The weekend brought our family together while connecting us to the WPU Community. It gave us a sense of pride that we are part of that genuine and caring community,” she said. 

The family was able to try treats from local businesses, craft together, and even watch a movie on Bingham Lawn.

“I love knowing that Ethan had seen movies on campus that semester like how we did at the weekend. It was so cool for my husband and I to experience the same thing Ethan had,” she said.

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