Texas A&M is celebrating a century of Aggie family support this weekend.
Family Weekend, formerly known as Parents Weekend, will bring together the relatives who have supported students in their academic careers from April 12 through 14. The three-day celebration will include events like Aggie Ring Day, Aggie Sober Tailgate, the Aggie Moms’ Boutique, the Maroon and White Spring Football Game and a special Family Weekend Centennial Celebration. The Corps of Cadets will have events such as the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band award ceremony and the Parsons Mounted Cavalry Review.
This Aggie tradition began in 1919, originally as a Mother’s Day open house to allow moms to come to the campus and check on their sons. Over the years, the name changed to Mother and Dads’ Day, Open House, Parents’ Day, Parents’ Weekend and is now Family Weekend.
“There have been events that have come and gone throughout the years, and the name has changed several times throughout the 100-year history,” New Student and Family Programs coordinator Libby Daggers said. “But I think what remains the same is that it’s always been a weekend dedicated to celebrating the important people in our lives who make up our Aggie family.”
The Family Weekend Centennial Celebration on April 13 at the Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center will include curated reflection displays, artifacts and memories of the event’s long history. There will be an Aggie-themed photo booth, guest speakers, a live band and a dessert bar. Single tickets are $18 while a pair is $32.
“We’ve worked really hard to spread the word about this year’s Family Weekend,” Daggers said. “We’re really trying to promote some of the history of Family Weekend and really celebrate the past of Family Weekend while we also can look forward to the next 100 years of Family Weekend and what that’s going to bring to our campus.”
The Parents of the Year award — which was changed from Mother of the year award in 1974 — offers a chance for current students to nominate their parents for their dedication to them as students and their embodiment of the Texas A&M core values. Preston and Susan Abbott of Houston were named the 2019-2020 Parents of the Year by The Aggie Family Ambassadors. The Abbotts will officially start their roles as Parents of the Year the first day of Family Weekend.
“Many families just see their students off to college and don’t generally have an idea of the things that we have at A&M; they don’t see it from the students’ point of view,” Aggie Family Ambassador and electrical engineer junior Enrique Baqueiro said. “Family Weekend essentially serves as that. They just get to experience the many things that not many people except an A&M student would experience at this university.”
There are already conversations about Family Weekend 2020 since the event is a year-round operation according to graduate assistant for family programs and outreach Heather Deere.
“Family Weekend is a really great opportunity for students to say ‘here are the things I am doing at A&M, and I want you to be a part of it,’” Deere said. “[It is] really welcoming the whole support system that helps a student through their time at Texas A&M to show them why they love campus so much. It’s a great way for not only the students but the entire Aggie family and that Aggie network to come to campus and be connected to what’s happening during that weekend.”
Editor's note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly listed the 2018-2019 parents of the year as the 2019-2020 recipients of the award.