Fall Family Weekend to Bring Thousands of Visitors to Campus and City

HIGH POINT, N.C., Sept. 20, 2019 – High Point University will host approximately 5,000 visitors during Fall Family Weekend, Sept. 20-22. The annual fall event is a time for HPU students and families to experience the university’s academic and cultural opportunities together, as well as offerings throughout the city of High Point.  

This year’s event will not only provide a major boost to the city, but also host a service project packaging meals for hungry families through the Family Weekend Hunger Project, hosted by HPU and the Parents Council Outreach Committee. Additionally, there will be a special open house held inside the new Wanek School of Natural Sciences, including planetarium shows in the new Culp Planetarium.

Economic Impact

Each year, Fall Family Weekend produces a significant economic boost to the city and the greater Triad area. Last year’s event garnered an estimated economic impact of $1.5 million, according to the High Point Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.  

Local businesses such as shops, hotels and restaurants feel the positive impact of HPU’s Fall Family Weekend.

meal packing

Last year, HPU’s Parents Council hosted their semi-annual service project during Family Weekend and packaged 20,000 meals for local agencies to distribute to families affected by Hurricane Florence.

“During Family Weekend, Panera Bread expresses our appreciation to the university and our 10-year business partnership,” says Karen Cunningham, regional catering sales manager with Panera Bread. “We are grateful for your students and the time they spend in our cafe enjoying a meal, snack or a quiet oasis for study groups.”

“Family Weekend is one of my favorite High Point University events of the year,” says Dave Nicoletta, owner and executive chef of Giannos. “Not only is it a nice boost for business, but we also get to reconnect with the family members from around the country. We develop relationships that last a long time, sometimes from freshman orientation until graduation. Our relationship with High Point University means that we get to watch many of these students grow up and become young adults entering the workforce. Students, faculty and families of HPU are always gracious and appreciative, and we welcome their visits. It’s a privilege for us to work with HPU.”

Parents Council Service Project

Over the weekend, parents will also have a chance to give back to the community as HPU and the Parents Council Outreach Committee team up to help hungry families through the Family Weekend Hunger Project.

This year’s project will include packaging 15,000 meals. The meals will be given to local distribution agencies who are partnering with HPU to help families that are experiencing food insecurity.

“High Point University is an institution that calls upon each of us to model the values we wish to instill in our students throughout their educational experience,” says Erica Burroughs, senior director of family engagement and annual giving at HPU. “There is no one more influential in that process than our HPU parents, and you can see that in action during this service project hosted by the Parents Council.”

lab space

One of this year’s special features for HPU’s Fall Family Weekend will include a self-guided tour of the new Wanek Natural Sciences facility, allowing parents to meet and interact with faculty and students, as well as enjoy a show in the new Culp Planetarium.

The service project will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the gym inside the Slane Student Center on Sept. 21.

Open House and Planetarium Shows at the Wanek School of Natural Sciences

This year’s tour will feature an open house of the newly finished Wanek School of Natural Sciences. The open house will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 21. The tours will be self-guided as well as exhibit the building’s features and give parents the opportunity to speak with faculty. Special feature shows will be presented in the new Culp Planetarium, which is housed within the facility, by Dr. Brad Barlow, director of the planetarium and associate professor of physics and astronomy. Shows will include “What’s Up Tonight?” presentation, that take viewers on a tour of constellations, stars and planets visible from the planetarium’s location, as well as a selection of documentary short-films, which will be presented at 3 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Some key rooms that will be featured on the tour include the insectary, the analytical instrumentation facility, a biochemistry and molecular biology research lab and the physics undergraduate research lab. All tours will include a chance to speak with faculty and students in biology, chemistry, physics, biochemistry and neuroscience programs.

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