California Baptist University will kick off its fifth annual Parent and Family Weekend on Nov. 12, granting students and their loved ones an opportunity to experience campus life and tradition together during a weekend filled with campus events.
Parent and Family Weekend began in 2017 when Homecoming moved to the spring semester due to the men’s basketball team’s promotion to NCAA Division I. After this change, the Office of Parent and Alumni Relations decided to create a mid-semester event for the fall season, leading to Parent and Family Weekend.
The weekend will commence with the beloved Fortuna Bowl and firework show, giving CBU’s flag football participants a potential taste of glory and an ability to compete in an environment customarily foreign to intramural sports. There will also be opportunities for students across departments to showcase their academic endeavors up to this point in the year, functioning much like the open houses many students participated in during grade school. Students and those participating in the event with them will receive an all-encompassing tour of student life highlights, including activities such as CBU’s pre-game party before the Lancers tip-off with Mississippi Valley State, food trucks on the Front Lawn during the Fortuna Bowl and a hike up Mt. Rubidoux, Marco Rodriguez, sophomore exercise science major, has been a player for the flag football team Rings by Spring this season.
“What stands out to me is the competitiveness of the flag-football intramurals,” Rodriguez said. “All of the guys on every team are always giving 100% to be the best on the field, which makes every game unpredictable, especially after not having a season due to COVID. It makes it better because everyone is pushing towards having their shot at playing in the Fortuna Bowl.”
The event itself is meant to bring in the student body’s loved ones and to show what CBU offers its students both in and out of the classroom.
“A lot of (the event) is what student life looks like,” said Rachael Solis, coordinator of alumni events and affinity groups in the Office of University Advancement. “We’re just inviting parents into it. We’ve found especially freshman and sophomore families to be the largest group that participates in this event because they aren’t as familiar with their students being away. After a few months they’re really eager to see campus life and that their investment is paying off.”
Charlie Sands, freshman philosophy major, spoke on what he was looking forward to most during Parent and Family Weekend, focusing on community.
“What I’m most looking forward to is the competitive spirit that comes alive in everyone, whether playing or not,” Sands said. “It builds a really cool sense of community around campus and gives students something to center around after a few stressful weeks of midterms.”
With the rapid growth over the past decade, 2021 marks yet another record year of students for the university.
“(The number of event participants) is kind of hard to predict because, given the current climate, some people still aren’t entirely comfortable being out in public events,” Solis said. “But we definitely expect a larger crowd given our sophomore students are kind of like first-year on-campus students.”
With more than 1,000 registrants already – a number in which only parents and family that have purchased tickets are included – we can expect almost twice that number on the day of the event, bringing in a total around 2,000 participants.
Tickets for Parent and Family Weekend are available for purchase on CBU’s advancement website. Use code CBUFAMILY when purchasing.