UCLA Spotlight

Parents' Weekend: Boosting Bruin Family Connections

  • Published Oct 18, 2010 8:15 AM

Mascots Joe and Josephine Bruin join a UCLA family as they smile for the camera on Parents' Weekend 2009.

Parents' Weekend Oct. 29-31

Registration for Parents’ Weekend closes 5 p.m. Oct. 21. The event is free for current students.

Parents’ Weekend is just one of UCLA’s many offerings that engage and support Bruins and their families from day one. For more about opportunities on campus or near your hometown, contact Parent & Family Programs at (310) 794-6737 or mybruinis@ucla.edu.

"There is a fine line that I try not to cross when keeping in touch with my kids at UCLA," explains Linda Scilacci, parent of a Bruin freshman and junior. "I text both of them and I call, but I’m careful not to call too much. I even write notes to myself so when we finally talk I can get all of my questions answered."

Linda is among a generation of parents who want to do more than just stay in touch with their undergraduate sons and daughters. "College is where students transform into adults," explains Jacquie Gilliam, Director of Parent & Family Programs, "so parents want to stay involved in their students' lives and help them make the most of the opportunities here."

UCLA’s Parent & Family Programs was developed in part as a response to this wave of interest. Especially given the increasing number of Bruins who are the first in their families to attend college, creating accessible connections to campus for parents is a university priority. The UCLA Parents Facebook page and Bruinlink newsletter, for example, help keep them connected to each other and to campus.

For Neil and Sandra Gafney, parents of a Bruin freshman, the university’s parent-specific summer sessions, orientations and move-in weekend activities helped smooth the transition into life apart from their son. Sandra explains, "I volunteered for UCLA's move-in weekend and will volunteer on campus again. Even if I don't see my son, I know that I'm helping him and his peers just by participating." Neil adds, "We joined the Parents Council and will go to Parents' Weekend, too. Whether it's your first child or last, it helps to meet others who are going through the same thing."

At Parents' Weekend October 29–31, new and returning parents have an opportunity to share campus life with their students and meet other families in an atmosphere of friendship, learning and fun. In addition to hearing the latest campus developments from Chancellor Gene Block, attendees will share lunch with deans and experience specially designed workshops that will help them support student success, from freshman year through preparations for graduate school or the workforce.