Family Weekend Events Let Parents Share in Their Students’ Excitement, Love for Mississippi College
Claire Harvison is confident her oldest son, Blocker, made a fantastic decision when he chose to invest his undergraduate years at Mississippi College.
Residents of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the Harvisons discovered that many families in their state didn’t know much about the Christian University. They were passionate to spread the news about the many ways MC has enriched the lives of emerging high school graduates.
They joined the family network at MC’s Freshman Orientation and began hosting annual launch parties for Louisiana families in 2021.
“We have loved connecting with MC families from our area over the last two years,” Harvison said. “Hosting the launch parties has been a wonderful way to meet new families and students and support the college that we have grown to love.
“We have been impressed by the Christ-centered culture that MC has offered our son. This starts with the faculty and professors who extend support on so many levels. Blocker has found an ‘iron sharpens iron’ environment on campus and has made long-lasting friendships.”
What convinced her that Blocker had made the best choice in educational institutions was the weekend she spent witnessing how he was thriving in his new collegiate environment.
Family Weekend, sponsored by the Offices of Family Engagement, Student Engagement, and Special Events, is a fun-packed opportunity for parents and family members to catch a glimpse of life for their students on MC’s campus. Scheduled for Sept. 15-16, the weekend features a variety of events that give families time to enjoy a football weekend together and take in the full “Choctaw Experience.”
It includes open residence halls for families to visit their students’ living quarters, an open house and tours of the newly renovated Latimer House at 5 p.m., and “Squeal Night” in the Quad on Friday, when students who went through recruitment find out their new social club or tribe. The MC women’s soccer team will take on West Florida at 1 p.m. at Longabaugh Field, followed by the MC men’s soccer match against West Florida at about 3:30 p.m. The MC men’s tennis team will be in action during a home tournament starting at 2 p,m. Friday at the MC tennis courts.
The next morning, Family Weekend participants will be invited to share a “Donuts with DBT” breakfast with MC President Blake Thompson, visit residence hall rooms, enjoy Main Street Clinton events in Olde Town, including the Cruizin' Clinton Car Show, and cheer on MC’s student-athletes as they parade through the Quad during the Choctaw Walk, a big part of the afternoon’s tailgating activities. Families can then huddle up at Robinson Hale Stadium for the Gulf South Conference football match against the University of West Georgia at 7 p.m.
“We are looking forward to attending the tailgate festivities,” Harvison said. “Our son is recruitment chair for his club (Kokoa) so we are also excited about the addition of club activities.”
All of the events are designed for parents and families to share in their students’ excitement and love for Mississippi College, according to Jonathan Nutt, assistant dean of students in the Office of Student Engagement at MC.
“Family Weekend is an awesome time for parents, family members, and guests to visit campus and get a glimpse of life at MC,” Nutt said. “The Office of Student Engagement is excited to collaborate on this event and make it a great weekend for all involved.”
As director of family engagement, Stacey Hight knows the importance of keeping families invested in their college students’ success on campus. As a parent of MC students herself, she understands how precious time spent with a college scholar can be.
“For parents of first-year students, it will be the first time to take a peek into their student’s new world,” Hight said. “They will get to meet their student’s new friends and witness the confidence they’ve built since Move-in Day. It is also a great time to bring students any items home they have discovered they can’t live without.
“And what Mom doesn’t want to lay eyes on their child when offered the chance?”
More than anything, Hight said, Family Weekend is a time to focus on relationships.
“During most of the late summer and early fall, families become consumed with the logistics of moving to college and registering for classes. Family Weekend is a time to breathe easy and see the fruits of their labor.
“My hope is that families will walk away from Family Weekend knowing their student has found a second home, a place where relationships are paramount.”
This year’s event will welcome the return of a revered tradition at Mississippi College – the Friday night pep rally on campus. Members of the MC cheerleading squad, dance team, and band will gather at 6 p.m. Sept. 15 in Alumni Hall to amp up the MC family’s excitement for the weekend.
Griffin Fleming, MC’s head cheerleader, said Family Weekend provides the best opportunity to reawaken the Friday night staple of football weekends at MC.
“We wanted to bring back a loved MC tradition and could not think of a better time than before our first home game while the entire MC family would be in town,” the senior political science major from Clinton said. “A pep rally is the greatest way to boost morale and school spirit. It is a time for students to come together and rally behind our football team as they represent all of us.
“Having our families here makes the event even more special and exciting. What a great way to cheer in our Choctaws as an entire MC family.”
Fleming said she expects the event will set the tone for future Friday night pep rallies on campus.
“Hosting an event where students can gather and rally behind our school outside of athletic competitions or the classroom is vital to our success as a whole and bridges the gap between our student body and our student-athletes,” she said. “The entire MC family is welcome to participate – no matter the classification, major, sport, organization, or position – to celebrate being a Mississippi College Choctaw.
“As the tradition come back to life and evolves, we hope to incorporate more students, organizations, professors, and faculty into this exciting event.”
Harvison said Family Weekend events like the pep rally go a long way toward helping parents remain engaged with their students at Mississippi College.
“Family Weekend and Homecoming have given us an opportunity to spend time with our son, to meet his friends, engage with other MC parents, see campus ‘in action,’ and to be reminded of the value of the ‘MC Experience,’” she said.
Most Family Weekend events are free of charge, but parents and family members will need to purchase tickets for dinner on Saturday and the football game. For more information, click here.