Family Weekend, an annual spring celebration honoring Aggie families since 1919, is happening this weekend, Friday through Sunday, April 13-15, at Texas A&M University.
This year, families can shop for gifts at the Aggie Moms’ Boutique and enjoy performances by the Texas A&M Women’s Chorus, Singing Cadets and the Freudian Slip Improv Comedy Troupe. They can participate in the festivities of Aggie Ring Day, and experience the warmth and camaraderie of events including Family Fun Night, Yell Practice and the Family Weekend Carnival, among numerous other offerings. Visit the Family Weekend website for a complete list of events as well as opportunities to purchase tickets and reserve space when necessary.
The Aggie Moms’ Boutique, hosted by the Federation of Texas A&M University Mothers’ Club, is historically one of the weekend’s most popular events. The gift-and-craft fair is open Friday, April 13, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturday, April 14, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., on the second floor of the Memorial Student Center. The Moms’ Club, the only one of its kind in the nation with such a large membership — 6,650 mothers belonging to 110 clubs across Texas and elsewhere in the nation — was established in 1928. The mothers raise funds for student organizations and scholarships.
Of course, nothing compares to the excitement generated by Aggie Ring Day, which is happening during Family Weekend so that parents and other family members and friends can celebrate the milestone with their Aggies. More than 6,200 students eagerly descend on the Clayton W. Williams, Jr. Alumni Center, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday, to collect their long-awaited Aggie Rings. The day of celebration includes Aggie Ring polishing by Career Center representatives, art print signing by Benjamin Knox ’90, free samples of Slovacek’s Sausage, opportunities to purchase official Ring Day T-shirts, and a myriad of photo ops.
The Family Weekend Committee also is hosting Family Fun Night, 5-9 p.m. on Friday, in the Respect Lounge in the Memorial Student Center. Bingo and Aggie trivia, among other activities, are sure to provide a festive evening for Aggies, their family members and their friends.
Friday night concludes with a 10 p.m. Yell Practice at Kyle Field. The almost 90-year-old tradition, which precedes football games and involves a sea of maroon-clad fans swaying arm-in-arm in their stadium seats to the Aggie War Hymn, is the ultimate expression of Aggie spirit and camaraderie.
Sporting events during the weekend include the Maroon and White Spring Football Game set for 4 p.m. on Saturday at Kyle Field and two men’s tennis games at Mitchell Tennis Center —Friday’s match against Mississippi State at 6 p.m. and Sunday’s match against Auburn at noon. Guests also can attend two baseball games versus Alabama at Blue Bell Park, and three softball games against Kentucky at the Aggie Softball Complex.
On Saturday, the Aggies Abroad Breakfast, which is happening in the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building (ILSB), 8-10 a.m., aims to provide information about students’ opportunities to expand their university experiences by studying in other areas of the world.
Also on Saturday, guests can attend three open houses on campus. They can attend the College of Architecture Open House, 8:30-11 a.m., in the Langford Architecture Center Building B Geren Exhibit Hall; the Mays Business School Open House in the Wehner Building Lobby, 9-11 a.m.; and the Vice President’s Open House, 10 a.m.-noon, on Throckmorton Street.
The Family Weekend Carnival is Saturday at the Recreation Center Terrace, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., where guests and their Aggies can enjoy free food and games, and the Campus Walking Tours, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., begin at the Appelt Aggieland Visitor Center in Rudder Tower. The 45-minute tours, which depart every 30 minutes, offer an overview of the academics, history, traditions, athletics and campus life at Texas A&M.
Activities planned by student organizations include the Kappa Alpha Theta Rock the CASA 5K beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday and the CARPOOL and Aggie Wranglers Crawfish Boil, noon-4 p.m., at the Hildebrand Equine Complex on Sunday.
The Corps of Cadets is planning demonstrations by the Ross Volunteer Company, the Fish Drill Team and the Parsons Mounted Cavalry, among other activities, including a banquet and awards ceremonies.
Throughout the weekend, the Corps and other awards ceremonies hosted by Aggie Bands, Biological and Agricultural Engineering, and The Association of Former Students will shine well-deserved recognition on Aggie students for various accomplishments including leadership, teamwork, service, campus involvement and academic achievement.
The Barnes and Noble Bookstore in the Memorial Student Center is offering extended hours, Friday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday, 8 a.m.- 6 p.m., and Sunday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m., for families in search of Aggie merchandise — particularly the official Family Weekend T-shirt.
Off campus, the Downtown Bryan Street and Art Fair provides families with the chance to tour historical blocks full of shops and restaurants in the midst of artists and artisans peddling their handmade goods, live musical entertainment and street performers, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., on Saturday.