Endings and New Beginnings at Family & Friends Weekend

The College hosted alums, parents, friends, and more for the official opening of the campus hub for visual culture, arts, and media; the celebration of the successful completion of the Lives That Speak campaign; and Homecoming, which included four home games against Swarthmore.

Thanks to the convergence of several momentous events and some picture-perfect fall weather, Haverford welcomed a huge crowd for Family & Friends Weekend 2017 (with the largest number of pre-registrants in the event’s history). Not only did the weekend represent the annual invitation for parents, siblings, and friends to visit to campus and experience it with their Ford via panels, receptions, and classes, but it also included several once-in-a-lifetime events.

Haverford’s new space for visual culture, arts, and media (VCAM), which opened at the start of the fall semester, was officially dedicated and President Kim Benston and Associate Professor of English and VCAM Director Laura McGrane were on hand to cut the ribbon on the former-Old-Gym-turned-creative-hub. The dedication also included a roundtable, facilitated by McGrane, with VCAM faculty and alumni and parents who work in the related fields—such as visual artist Francie Hester P’16, President of Walt Disney Animation Studios Andrew Millstein ’84, and Managing Editor of Aperture Magazine Brendan Wattenberg ’06—as well as a student-film showcase in the building’s new state-of-the-art screening room and technical demos in its Maker Space.

Additionally, the community came together to celebrate the successful conclusion of the Lives That Speak campaign, to which more than 15,000 donors contributed a total of $269,533,390 to improve the campus both inside and out. In the transformed Field House on Saturday night that celebration included a reception, a party with a raucous band, and a performance (dubbed Lives That Speak: A Tapestry in Sound and Vision) that gave viewers an intimate look at the new spaces, academic programs, and priorities—including more than $40 million for financial aid—made possible by the campaign. (Continued after the gallery.)


Homecoming this year invited alums from all years (not just the past 10 classes, as has been recent tradition) to return to campus for food, fun, lawn games, and camaraderie. And since there were four home games against Swarthmore on Saturday, they were also encouraged to cheer on the men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey, and volleyball teams against their conference rivals.

There was also a tour of the Arboretum; a student concert featuring Bi-Co ensembles and a cappella groups; art openings for two different exhibits; FAB’s annual Oktoberfest; and panels on student resources, internship opportunities, and studying abroad.  So, thanks to the packed schedule and the abundant sunshine, a busy—and fun—time was had by all.


Photos by Cole Sansom ’19, Sarah Jennings ’21, and Dan Z. Johnson.