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A warm welcome for parents and families

Laura Sullivan traveled to Northeastern from upstate New York on Saturday to visit her daughter Jessie Gifford, E’20. But she didn’t make the trip alone.

“I figured she missed her dog (Tucker) more than she missed me, so I brought him along,” Sullivan joked. “It’s funny how many other students are coming up and asking to pet him because they miss their own dogs.”

Sullivan and Tucker were among the many families who visited campus for the annual Parent and Family Weekend, which featured a host of academic, cultural, athletic, and social activities throughout the weekend.

Dan and Beth Bacon traveled all the way from Seattle to visit their son Arthur, CIS’20, and the family made the most of what Boston and New England had to offer. “The highlight for me so far was the tour of Fenway Park,” Beth Bacon said on Saturday.

The family was considering spending Sunday hiking up New Hampshire’s Mount Monadnock.

Parents and families were officially welcomed during a special event Saturday morning in Blackman Auditorium. The talk-show themed event was hosted by Ben Bungert, DMSB’16, president of the Entrepreneurs Club.

It was very creative how they presented the president and the students
—Laurie Milne

Guests included President Joseph E. Aoun, Provost James C. Bean, global experiential learning extraordinaire Rose Leopold, SSH’16, Pickasound founder Toju Ometoruwa, DMSB’16, Fit University founder Sarah Gaines, AMD’15, and Fresh Truck co-founder Josh Trautwein, SSH’10.


Families and students at the welcome event Saturday morning in Blackman Auditorium during Parent and Family Weekend. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

“You think these students were successful in a minute, but they all labored a lot,” Aoun told the families and students in Blackman. “We want them to try, we want them to succeed, but we also want them to fail…you learn as much from failure as you do from success.”

Aoun also made a major announcement at the event: the launch of Northeastern’s Lifetime Learning Membership, which will give tuition discounts on graduate programs to parents and siblings of undergraduate students.

Attendees also learned more about the exciting transformation of Northeastern’s campus, including President Aoun’s Public Art Initiative, East Village’s opening earlier this year, and the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex set to open next year.

At the cookout on Centennial Common following the welcome event, Laurie and Bob Milne said they were very impressed with the program. “That was very exciting,” said Laurie Milne. “It was very creative how they presented the president and the students.”

This was the second Parent and Family Weekend the Milnes have attended to see their son, Patrick, DMSB’18. Bob Milne said he is always impressed seeing how students take advantage of the opportunities they have at Northeastern.

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