Fall Convocation Kicks Off U.Va.’s Family Weekend Oct. 26-28

Oct. 24, 2007 -- The annual Family Weekend at U.Va. takes place this year Oct. 26-28, giving students’ families an opportunity to take in University life. Over three days, the University will offer more than 75 special events for parents.

Fall Convocation, which begins at 2 p.m. on Friday at University Hall, kicks off the weekend. Dr. Arthur Garson Jr., executive vice president and provost, will be the featured speaker. President John T. Casteen III will present intermediate honors to the top 20 percent of students who earned at least 60 credits of course work at U.Va. during their first two years. He will also announce the winner of the Thomas Jefferson Award, the highest honor given to a member of the U.Va community.

Other major events include the Class of 2009 Ring Ceremony; alumnus Tiki Barber signing copies of his new memoir, "Tiki: My Life in the Game and Beyond"; the University Forum in Old Cabell Hall Auditorium, where President Casteen will discuss the state of the University and school leaders will answer questions from parents; a Saturday brunch on the Lawn, hosted by class councils; and a choral showcase featuring four student singing groups. (See time and location details below and at www.virginia.edu/familyweekend)

The long weekend is packed with special events, including concerts, tours, dinners, exhibits, dances, presentations, athletic events and a wellness fair. Most of the University's 10 schools and all three residential colleges will host open houses and receptions, as will numerous campus organizations, including University Career Services, the International Studies Office, the Semester at Sea program, the Chabad House, the Office of African-American Affairs and the Madison House volunteer center.

Parents and their students may attend any of a dozen how-to seminars on topics ranging from digitizing photos, genealogy sources and leading-edge TV technology, to the ins and outs of the iPod, preserving family heirlooms and modern falconry, to organizing digital photos and demystifying online social networks like MySpace and Facebook. Or they may learn how the University has changed over the years through presentations on the history of women at U.Va., African-Americans at U.Va., and architecture at U.Va.

The U.Va. Press offers its annual warehouse book sale on Friday and Saturday, with many books priced at $3 or $6.

There will be candlelight tours of the Lawn from 7:30 to 10 p.m. on Friday night, with University Guides dressed in period costumes leading tours every 15 minutes from the north entrance of the Rotunda to the former room of Edgar Allan Poe. Poe will be further remembered with an open house at his West Range room from 8 to 10 p.m., hosted by members of the Raven Society. Poe’s room is also the site of a Poe Poetry Reading Contest from 9 to 10:30 p.m.

Saturday opens with a five-kilometer foot race. Registration begins at Memorial Gym at 7 a.m. with the race starting at 8 a.m.

This year's Culturefest, a student exhibition of international foods and cultures, will take place in two parts, first from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., followed up with a sampling of international foods from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Newcomb Dining Hall.

There are numerous exhibits around Grounds, and all are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. all weekend. “Declaring Independence: Creating and Re-creating America's Document,” which highlights one of the most comprehensive collections of letters, documents and early printings of the Declaration of Independence, including a rare first edition of the Dunlap Broadside, is on display at the Small Special Collections Library. An accompanying documentary film is available for viewing in the gallery.

Other exhibits at the special collections library include a Lewis and Clark exhibit, featuring rare maps and books from their historic expedition. Two other exhibits deal with Virginia's history from the 16th century to the present, featuring archaeological artifacts (both Native American and colonial), literature, art, maps and more.

Clemons Library will feature an exhibit of photos and drawings titled “Beyond the Serpentine Walls: Exploring the Pavilion Gardens at the University of Virginia.”

Family Weekend Major Highlights

Friday, Oct. 26
• 2 p.m. Fall Convocation: Dr. Arthur Garson Jr., executive vice president and provost, will be the speaker. President John T. Casteen III presents the Thomas Jefferson Award and Intermediate Honors.
University Hall

• 4:30 p.m. Class of 2009 Ring Ceremony
North Terrace of the Rotunda

• 5 p.m. Book Signing with alumnus Tiki Barber and his new memoir, "Tiki: My Life in the Game and Beyond"
U.Va. Bookstore

Saturday, Oct. 27

• 9:30-11 a.m. University Forum: President Casteen speaks on the state of the University. Q&A for parents with vice presidents, deans and student leaders.
Old Cabell Hall Auditorium

• 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Class Council Receptions: Each class hosts a brunch for students and families, with information booths.
The Lawn

• 6:30 p.m. Dome Room Dinner: Families dine together and listen to a U.Va. faculty member’s lecture.
Rotunda Dome Room

• 7 p.m. Virginia Choral Showcase: Four student groups sing, in turn and then all together.
Old Cabell Hall Auditorium

Sunday, Oct. 28

• 10:30 a.m. Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society Induction Ceremony: recognizes first-year academic achievement
Old Cabell Hall Auditorium