Flash Families Celebrate Their Students

The university’s annual Parents and Families Appreciation Weekend recognizes the importance of family support in student engagement and success

Families come in all sizes and shapes and not everyone’s family looks the same. Kent State embraces and celebrates our students’ parents, guardians and everyone they call “family” at its annual Parents and Families Appreciation Weekend.

Eboni Pringle, Ph.D., interim senior vice president in the Division of Student Life, said "Kent State recognizes the important role that parents and families play in the success of their students. Our faculty and staff acknowledge and honor the importance of family as a foundation in building community and connecting Kent State, students and their families."

A full schedule of events kicked off beginning on Friday, September 29 with family check-in and the 41st Annual Black Squirrel Festival. This Kent State tradition celebrates the university’s “unofficial mascot” and activities included food trucks, student bands, student businesses selling their products, information tables for student organizations, university organizations and university partners, a BINGO activity with businesses in downtown Kent. The event, planned and organized by the student-run Flashes Activities Board (FAB), attracts more than 3,000 visitors each year.

Students at Black Squirrel Festival

Other events on Friday included:

Make-and-take activities in the DI Hub Reactor utilized specialty equipment in the university’s largest makerspace in making vinyl-cut stickers, 3D-printed keychains and laser-cut magnets. Participants learned about the tools and technologies available to students as part of Kent State’s Design Innovation initiative.

A Family Movie Night at the KIVA Auditorium with a showing of “Monsters University.”

Kent State Esports offered a gaming demonstration, game play and an information session about competitive video gaming at Kent State’s Esports Complex on the 2nd floor of the University Library.

The Wick Poetry Center hosted an interactive creative writing workshop highlighting the center’s mission of advancing creative expression, through in-person workshops and innovative, online platforms.

The Blue and Gold Paint and Sip event provided fun, step-by-step painting instruction for parents and students to create lasting memories together.

Child fan cheers at Flashes game

Saturday’s big event was the Golden Flashes vs. Miami University Redhawks football game at Dix Stadium. Prior to the game’s 2:30 kickoff, there was a Legacy Tailgate event with food and entertainment honoring all the families who love and support their Kent State students. Alumni parents received a commemorative pin to recognize their commitment to Kent State.

At halftime, University Housing and University Culinary Services offered a Halftime Dessert Social with delicious treats, games and an opportunity to speak with staff members about student life on campus.

A record number of attendees registered this year. In all, more than 1,600 family members and students from Ohio and 23 other states came to Kent State’s Kent Campus for this exceptional fall event.

POSTED: Thursday, September 28, 2023 03:22 PM
Updated: Monday, October 2, 2023 12:37 PM
Phil B. Soencken