Fall Family Weekend: S’mores and Smiles for ’23s and ’24s

News subtitle

The special event combined two family gatherings after COVID-19 postponement.

Students and families enjoy a picnic on the green grass at Dartmouth
Students and their families enjoyed the brilliant autumn weather during Fall Family Weekend. (Photos by Lars Blackmore) 

More than 1,300 friends and family members traveled to Hanover on Oct. 22-24 to join their students for Fall Family Weekend, a one-time special family event for family members and friends to celebrate with sophomores and juniors who, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, weren’t able to have traditional family weekends last year.

“Although these special family events have been delayed by the pandemic, nothing spoiled the fun this time,” says Scott C. Brown, interim dean of the College. “This was an amazing opportunity for students to show their families what life is like at Dartmouth and for families to connect with some of the campus partners who make this such a special place.”

For many students, the weekend was the first opportunity to show their families around campus.

Included in the weekend’s activities was a session called “Building Community,” featuring panelists President Philip J. Hanlon ’77, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Elizabeth Smith, Brown, and moderator Caroline Kerr ’05, a Dartmouth trustee. The trio spoke about near-term plans, the broader vision for the future, and discussed how Dartmouth’s partnership with parents has been crucial to students’ success.

“Given how many parents were wearing Dartmouth hats, scarves, and shirts, it was sometimes hard to tell the difference between them and the students,” joked Brown.

Other events included faculty lectures, and opportunities to learn about campus centers and departments, health and wellness, experiential learning, and undergraduate research. There were athletic contests, tours, and time to hang out with friends and families. Dining Services kept the crowds fed with a New England barbecue and other special treats.

“It doesn’t get much better than sitting under the stars and making your own s’mores with members of the Dartmouth community in such a beautiful setting, particularly when simple pleasures like this have been denied us for so long,” Brown says.

He thanked families and friends for making the trip to campus and sharing the experiences that Dartmouth has to offer. “They surely made memories to last a lifetime.”

The Class of 2025 Family Weekend is set for April 29-May 1, 2022.

Lisa Essex