Meet the parents

It’s Parents Weekend at IU Bloomington, which, for this blogger, always brings back special memories. Parents Weekend 1995 was my introduction to IU and the Btown community—that’s when mom, dad and I ventured away from the shores of Connecticut to visit my younger sister, then a freshman. Expecting to see a few big academic structures in the middle of a flat cornfield, and equating IU to basketball and not much more, I was simply blown away by the beauty of the tree-lined campus, the landscaping and the limestone buildings dating back to the late 19th century.

An IU parent greets the iconic statue of legendary former IU president Herman B Wells.

I was also able to experience, for the first time, Kirkwood Avenue, as lively then as it is today, Assembly Hall and all of its glorious basketball tradition, and a wondrous Fine Arts Plaza which, as I’ve since told folks back east, gives Lincoln Center in New York City a run for its money. (My fondest memories—Back Alley bowling at the Indiana Memorial Union and attending an early Saturday morning Broadway revue performance by students of IU musical theatre professor George Pinney, whom, I later learned, was a Tony Award nominee.)

Three years later, when it came time to choose among potential graduate schools, I opted for IU. Without question, my experience at Parents Weekend played a major factor in what turned out to be a life-changing decision, as I’ve been here ever since.

Starting today, this year’s Parents Weekend is filled with fun and inviting activities sure to captivate parents and, yes, even their IU children, who might just learn a thing or two about their campus and its history. Maybe they’ll discover the 7.5 million manuscripts and 400,000 rare books housed at the Lilly Library, the wired-up, always buzzing Information Commons at the Wells Library, the more than 200,000-square-foot Student Recreation Sports Center, the HPER pool where Olympic gold medalist Mark Spitz trained or the IU Art Museum, one of the foremost art museums in the nation and home to works by Monet, Picasso and Pollock, to name just a few attractions.

And who knows? Maybe there’s another sibling or young relative walking around IU and Btown today, taking in all that the campus and community have to offer and, perhaps, thinking about how great it would be to be a student here.

Go here for a schedule of events for this year’s Parents Weekend at IU Bloomington.


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