Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Skip to main content

Celebrating a Campus Tradition: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute To Host Family Weekend Oct. 24-26


Media Relations

October 16, 2014

Celebrating a Campus Tradition: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute To Host Family Weekend Oct. 24-26

Troy, N.Y. – As signs of autumn like falling leaves and some cool weather days can be found across the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute campus, the campus will be buzzing with activity as thousands of Rensselaer families are expected to visit Oct. 24-26 to celebrate Family Weekend.

For more than 60 years, parents, family members, alumni, and friends have made the annual trek to the Troy campus to attend Family Weekend.

“This year the theme for Family Weekend is ‘190 years of Family’” – celebrating not only the memories of Rensselaer families and students, but also 63 years of this amazing campus tradition,” said Shante Brown, assistant dean and parent liaison in the Office of the First-Year Experience. “Family Weekend is designed to not only reinforce our students’ love of Rensselaer, but to also foster the same feeling of community in family members.”

The annual event—co-hosted by the First-Year Experience and Student Experience offices—typically attracts thousands to campus to experience the season and life at Rensselaer. Last year, more than 4,000 people attended. 

During the three-day event, Rensselaer students and their families will have an opportunity to glimpse life at Rensselaer through a variety of cultural offerings and performances, academic classroom programs, tours, dinners, film screenings, and athletic events, along with events taking place in the Troy community. 

On Saturday, Oct. 25, President Shirley Ann Jackson will deliver a presentation about recent progress and accomplishments at Rensselaer. The talk will take place in the theater of the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), from 9 to 9:30 a.m. The 21st annual Honors Convocation ceremony, which celebrates the outstanding academic achievements of students and faculty, will immediately follow in the EMPAC concert hall at 10 a.m. 

Brown noted that the schedule is designed with CLASS (Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students) in mind—with designations for each class theme. “This year we are collaborating with the Rensselaer Union, the Registrar, Residence Life, Athletics, the Office of the Provost, and Enrollment Management in addition to many others,” Brown said. “We are all very excited that our continued collaborations with multiple departments across campus allow us to plan bigger, and better, every year.”

Highlights of this year’s events include a plethora of student performances and exhibitions, family- and class-focused dinners, partnerships with student organizations, academic and center open houses, and movie screenings. 

On the playing fields, events include the men’s football game vs. Hobart College. In addition, individuals can lend their support to Rensselaer teams by attending men’s hockey vs. Bentley University, and women’s hockey game vs. University of Connecticut.

For individuals interested in getting a glimpse of the diverse cultures on campus, the annual International Festival event will showcase over 25 different countries and cultures representing the Rensselaer Union international student organizations and individual members of campus. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, in the Rensselaer Union McNeil Room.

Families also will have an opportunity to attend the annual Fall Fest Celebration. The free community event features student demonstrations, entertainment, and hands-on activities for individuals of all ages. Area businesses and community organizations also participate. The event will take place from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25, at the East Campus Athletic Village.

“Autumn in Troy is truly a special time,” Brown said. “More than 80 events have been planned for the weekend to highlight the many facets of Rensselaer. Additionally, 15 faculty members have graciously opened the doors to their classrooms to allow parents and families a glimpse into the true student experience at Rensselaer. In addition to campus visitors, students, staff, and faculty are welcome and encouraged to attend any of the open programs throughout the weekend. We want everyone to find a way to share in the culture and rich traditions of Rensselaer.”

To view the complete schedule of events, visit

Note: Join the social media discussion to get highlights and updates regarding Family Weekend 2014 by using the hashtag: #rpifamily.    


Reeve Hamilton
Director of Media Relations and Communications

(518) 833-4277

For general inquiries:

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,600 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.