With October ready to burst forth with colors and cooler weather, Lander University will host its 2017 Family Day from mid-morning until almost midnight on October 21.
The annual Saturday event, now nearing its 30-year mark, will last approximately 14 hours and is open to all Lander students, faculty and staff, their families, and Lander alumni.
"Family Day is going to have a different look than in past years," said Mike Rapay, director of Student Activities and Engagement. "We want people to be able to come to the event at any time of the day, stay as long as they want, and have more flexibility in choosing what they want to participate in."
Family Day opens at 10 a.m. with a 90-minute Wood and Brush Paint Party by the Lander Sassy Cats Dance Team.
Mid-day activities from 12-2 p.m. will feature a balloon artist, Art Alliance face painting, Lander Cheerleader shirt sales, horse plot bingo sales to benefit Habitat For Humanity, a tailgate buffet lunch provided by Aramark, and entertainment from singer-songwriter Rudy Currence.
And if you still want more or if you're a late arrival, the afternoon/evening includes more horse plot bingo; cruise in car show; corn hole tournament to raise cancer awareness through the national organization Barbells for Boobs; men's soccer vs. Carson-Newman; and fireworks display behind the softball field at the Jeff May Complex at the end of the game..
"I'd like to see at least 300-400 for this year's event," Rapay said. "And going forward, I hope we can expand this event even further."
The directive for Family Day began in the late 1980s with what was initially called Lander College Parents' Weekend.
Then as now, its focus was to give parents a glimpse of college life through the eyes of their sons and daughters and get to know some of the university leaders.
"It's a good connection to bring parents to campus to see what university life at Lander is like," said Randy Bouknight, vice president for Student Affairs. "They get to mingle, and maybe even meet the school president."
Rapay added that with recent emphasis on students having a complete university experience during their four years at Lander, Family Day is continuing to become more and more relevant.
"For a student to be successful, they have to have the support of their family, and Family Day helps solidify that support and their ties to Lander," he said. "And it's a great opportunity for us to promote Lander as a family school for continuing generations."