Pioneers Celebrate Family Weekend: Celebrating family, friends, and tradition

A weekend full of love, laughter, and lots of Pioneer spirit. Photo by Alexa Brisson/Spectrum.
A weekend full of love, laughter, and lots of Pioneer spirit. Photo by Alexa Brisson/Spectrum.

By Sabrina Garone

Staff Reporter

From Oct. 21 to Oct. 23, Sacred Heart University held its annual Family Weekend.

Parents and family members of Sacred Heart students enjoyed a weekend full of fun activities and family bonding.

Denise Tiberio, the Associate Dean of Students, projected a great turnout leading up to the festivities.

“This year, we expected over 1,000 families to show,” said Tiberio. “Almost all of this weekend’s events were sold out.”

In the days leading up to Family Weekend, families are required to register for the events they wish to attend.

From concerts and sporting events to various dining options, families were entertained with a wide variety of activities.

“People have learned from past experience that they need to claim their spots early, especially for events that are tied to a venue like the Edgerton Theater,” said Tiberio. “Bingo is the craziest. This year we had to add a second game of bingo on Saturday morning to accommodate everyone.”

Another sold out event that took place in the Edgerton Theater was a performance by Lets Hang On!, a Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons tribute band.

The group performed various Seasons’ hits, as well as some 60’s classics, all in the style of Broadway’s “Jersey Boys.”

Drawing one of the largest crowds of the weekend was SHU Hoops Madness, the annual kickoff to the men’s and women’s
basketball seasons.

On Friday night, students and their families packed into the school’s gymnasium, the William H. Pitt Center, to join in on the celebration.

Attendees were greeted with free popcorn and pizza, as well as a raffle ticket for either a GoPro Camera or an Amazon Echo.

Members of the men’s and women’s basketball teams competed against one another in three-point contests and showed off their dunking skills.

“It was a cool way to learn more about our school’s basketball teams,” said junior Gianna DiMartino. “I don’t get to go to as many basketball games as I would like, so it was a great opportunity to come out and show some support.”

The Pep Band, cheerleading team and dance team entertained the audience throughout the event.

The night concluded with the highly anticipated performance of 90’s hip-hop duo Black Sheep.

Also drawing a large crowd was Saturday afternoon’s Tailgate Party and football game against Robert Morris University.

Despite inclement weather, families enjoyed the Jersey Shore themed tailgate party, which included rock n’ roll music, family photos and hayrides throughout the campus.

Following the tailgate, families filled the stands on Campus Field to cheer on the football team. The Pioneers defeated Robert Morris 16-10.

Other events throughout the weekend included “9 and Dine at the Great River Golf Club,” “Champagne breakfast with the President” and “Hope From the Heart,” a concert featuring the Sacred Heart Choir Ensembles.

For many families, Family Weekend has become a yearly tradition. Not only is it an opportunity for them to spend time with their college student, but it also allows them to meet other students and members of the Sacred Heart community.

“We have looked forward to Family Weekend four years in a row,” said Sacred Heart parent Debbie Manetta. “Seeing some of the same students we met as freshmen and realizing how much each of them has grown and matured is a beautiful thing.”

Bringing together students, parents and friends has become a university tradition.

“Sacred Heart is a wonderful place, and we can only imagine how bittersweet it will be to see our daughter and friends graduate in May,” said Manetta.

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