Family Weekend Showcases What Scranton Has to Offer

Chemistry Professor Michael C. Cann, Ph.D., alias Dr. MC² , was among the faculty members presenting a class during Family Weekend. Dr. Cann presented “Science Is Fun,” which showcased several exciting and simple science experiments.
Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty (left) and University of Scranton President Kevin P. Quinn, S.J., welcomed parents and siblings of students to Family Weekend.

The University unveiled a new direction for Family Weekend to the delight of the more than 2,300 students and family members attending the numerous events scheduled from Friday evening through to Sunday afternoon. Intended to entertain and inform students and their guests alike with classes, facility tours, games, receptions, performances and fairs, the 2011 event was the best attended Family Weekend to date.

One of classes on Saturday morning, Science Is Fun with Dr. MC² (or Chemistry Professor Michael C. Cann, Ph.D., as he is known on campus), showcased several exciting and simple science experiments. Some crowd favorites included homemade slime made from Borax and Elmer’s glue, as well as extracting iron from a bag of Total cereal.

A younger sibling of a student, Ashley, six-years old, said she really liked the experiments, especially one involving blowing bubbles into odd shapes. 

After Science Is Fun, families were invited to a Fall Festival, which showcased some of the student organizations and activities on campus. There was also a farmer’s market with freshly baked cookies, pies and other food available for purchase. 

Tours of the campus’ newly constructed buildings also took place, showcasing phase one of the new Loyola Science Center and the new apartment complex.

Erica Brown, a freshman psychology major from Fincksburg, Md., said she is even excited to tour the new science building.

“I’ve only seen parts of it,” said Brown. “I haven’t really gotten a chance to just take a look around, but I heard it’s so nice.”

Linda Kozlowski of Huntington, N.Y., whose son is freshman at the University, and Paul Kirsch, father of junior Anastasia Kirsch, were also impressed by the new facility. Kirsch said the classroom events and tours of new buildings introduce the University to parents in a broader way.

Kirsch and many other families noticed and appreciated the wide variety of activities planned for the weekend.

“(The University) had more activities, more structure and more things available, I think, instead of just finding things to do on your own,” said Kirsch.

Some of the other Family Weekend activities included a rousing Late Night Bingo, which featured several “celebrity” callers, including Betty Rozelle, assistant director of career services, Tashika Griffith, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Dave Larson, associate director of residence life, Duante Stanton, phoneathon manager, and Mike Baumhardt, assistant director of the Center for Student Engagement.

In addition, there were three showings of The University of Scranton Players production, “Wait Until Dark,” and a performance by the New York Trumpet Ensemble, several athletic games, a screening of “Kung Fu Panda 2,” and special classes on topics ranging from history to chocolate, along with “Scranton’s Got Spirit,” an event attended by more than 750 that featured the campus’ student performers and interactive games for families.

Off campus, more than 20 area restaurants provided discounts to those attended Family Weekend, as did several museums and Scranton area attractions.

The University’s Office of Parent Relations planned and coordinated Family Weekend.