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More than 900 attend Family Day

Published on October 05, 2023

More than 900 attend Family Day

Eastern Connecticut State University welcomed more than 900 students and families to the annual Family Day celebration on Sept. 30. 

“Despite the weather, students and their guests enjoyed the day exploring campus and participating in both new and traditional Family Day activities,” said Casey Kensey, director of New Student and Family Programs.

“Family Day is such a great opportunity for students and families to make memories together. We saw so many families going to the athletic games, participating in the scavenger hunt and even taking photos with Willi the Warrior. Students seemed excited to show off the campus and introduce their families to other students, staff and alumni. Overall, it was a great day for the Eastern community.”  

The purpose of Family Day is to allow students who have been away from their families a chance to bond and show them what life is like on their new campus. The event is especially popular with first-year students, although students of all class years could be seen showing their families around.  

The Student Center set the scene for most activities. Families could have their pictures taken sitting on a comically large Adirondack chair. Attendees cheered during the Alumni March, featuring alumni from class years as far back as the 1960s who were on campus for the annual Eastern Celebrates alumni reunion.

The day also featured a buffet-style lunch in the gymnasium. Eastern professor and well-known storyteller Raouf Mama treated guests to storytime in the Student Center Theatre. Movie buffs saw a showing of “The Lorax.” The Betty Tipton Room was labeled the “fun” room, where families could acquire personalized beverage sleeves, photo keychains, cell phone wallets or get a family portrait at the character booth. 

Much of the entertainment throughout the day was music-based. In the Student Center main lobby, singer-songwriter Matt Jackson gave an acoustic performance, followed by the Eastern dance team grooving to Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love.” An ice cream truck supplied attendees with frozen sweet treats. Also outside the Student Center was the mini-pumpkin painting booth, where guests of all ages tapped into their creative sides in the spirit of fall. Guests could also attend a star show at the planetarium. 

The music performances were especially prevalent in the Fine Arts Instructional Center (FAIC) Concert Hall. The Thread City Jazz Trio, composed of professors Anthony Cornicello on piano, Rick O’Neal on bass and Matt Bronson on drums, performed “Rare” by Selena Gomez, Madison Love and Brett McLaughlin, as well as “The Way You Look Tonight” by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields.

Husband-and-wife duo Jeffrey (professor of music) and Rebecca Calissi (music lecturer) played “Concerto para Marimba y Orchestra, No 1. Op. 20 – Movimento Canzone India.” Other performances included professors David Ballena and Joshua Thomas with a saxophone and piano duet and Professor Morgan Brown on guitar. 

In the Proscenium Theatre, Professor Kristen Morgan spoke to students and families about the Communication, Film, and Theatre Department, and led a tour of the backstages and various theatre facilities. 

Written by Elisabeth Craig