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From the Bay Area to Boston, memories made during Northeastern Family and Friends Weekend

Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

If there’s one thing that stood out to parents of students enrolled at Mills College at Northeastern over the weekend, it was the peace and serenity of the campus in Oakland, California.

“The campus is nice—very calm,” said Dev Bhatia, who was visiting his son Adair Bhatia, an economics major at Northeastern. “Lots of trees. That’s good.”

The West Coast campus is now several months into its first semester as the newest addition to Northeastern’s global network. And during this year’s Family and Friends Weekend, families visiting their young scholars at Mills took in the bucolic scenes while enjoying a slew of annual events and activities across the three-day occasion.

“You not only feel like you’re on a college campus, but also in a botanical garden or an arboretum,” said Dwight Fettig, who was visiting his daughter, an environmental science major. “It’s a really wonderfully designed campus.” 

Parents, students and siblings at Mills College at Northeastern joined their peers in Boston in celebrating what was also the university’s first bi-coastal Family and Friends Weekend. Both campuses were abuzz with events, games and other activities.  

As part of the weekend’s programming, Fettig said he enjoyed taking a historical tour of the campus and a tour of its iconic art museum. He finished his event-filled Friday—the day many families arrived on both coasts—with a tour of student life. 

“We really got a feel for what the students get to do and experience while they’re here at Mills College,” Fettig said.

Multiple generations took part in the family weekend as well. Staff and volunteers at Mills College at Northeastern were ready to help with parking, directions and other accommodations. 

“We’re so pleasantly surprised, every person I’ve talked to has been so helpful, and it’s made it very easy for us to visit,” said Yadhav Jayarama, who came with older in-laws to see his son Adiithya, who is studying finance and computer science. 

“That’s what I find very touching—that they care,” Devasena Jayarama, whose parents needed accommodations, said. 

On the Boston campus, James Pflasterer and Darcy Huston flew across the country from Palo Alto, California, to see their daughter, Haley Pflasterer, who is studying engineering. 

“She’s pretty much 18 going on 24,” Pflasterer said. “[Northeastern] checked off everything on her list.”

The pair, ice cream cups in-hand by Friday afternoon outside the Snell Library, said they hoped to meet and connect with other parents over the course of the weekend. 

Huston said that among all of Northeastern’s academic credentials, its popular experiential learning co-op program was the main selling point for her daughter.  

“She ended up applying early decision, because this was her first choice,” Huston said.

Among the plethora of events, parents in Boston had the opportunity to see Fenway Park, the Freedom Trail and the area’s “ghosts and gravestones” during several Halloween-themed tours planned for Friday and Saturday.

Featured speakers during Family and Friends Weekend included Jeopardy! star Ken Jennings and stand-up magician Derek Hughes. Parents also got to attend several Northeastern sporting events, including field hockey vs. Monmouth University, woman’s soccer vs. University of Delaware, women’s hockey vs. Merrimack College and men’s hockey vs. Providence College.

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