Villanova Celebrates Family Weekend


Families tailgate on Mendel Field before the football game.

Vivi Melkonian, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Villanova’s annual Family Weekend took place over the weekend. The festivities began on Friday night with the Inclusion Week Carnival and continued through Sunday morning, culminating in a Family Weekend Mass. 


Families traveled from all across the country to any available hotel in the greater Villanova area, booking blocks and preparing to see students. The first event welcoming families was the Inclusion Week Carnival by the Oreo. The green space was filled with blow up slides and family-friendly activities. This event also marked the end of Inclusion Week, a week-long effort hosted by Special Olympics to raise awareness for its upcoming Fall Fest event.


Following the Carnival was the A Capella showcase in the Connelly Center. All eight a capella groups performed: Haveners, Measure Up, Minor Problem, Nothing But Treble, Sirens, Spires, Supernovas and Vocal Minority. This was the first performance for many of the groups’ new recruits. Junior Kayla Verga, a member of Sirens, was proud of the result. 


“It was such a welcoming and exciting environment that was able to showcase to our parents the surplus of talent that each group possesses,” Verga said, adding that she was excited to show Villanova’s music community to the freshmen.


Following the showcase was a Family Weekend take on Food Truck Friday on Rowen Campus Green. This event featured dessert food trucks and fire pits. 


Saturday morning began early with the Junior Ring Blessing, a long-standing Villanova tradition. Students ordered rings and gathered in Finneran Pavilion on Saturday morning to receive their ring and a blessing from the priests. Junior Victoria Dattilo spoke about her experience. 


“We listened to students speak about the importance of the ring, and how it represents a constant memory of our time here,” Dattilo said. “It reminded me of why I chose to come here and how my time being here will never be forgotten.”


Junior Maggie Graw was glad her parents could witness her ring blessing, as they are proud of their own school rings. 


“Both of my parents still have and wear their school rings, so it was special to celebrate receiving mine with them,” Graw said. “Since the ceremony had mostly student speakers it felt really personal, and getting my ring felt like a nice bridge between my accomplishments and my future with Villanova.” 

The Junior Ring Ceremony was followed by the Multicultural Student and Family Weekend Reception and the Tailgate on the Green. The Tailgate took place on Mendel Field, which was flooded with hundreds of tents that families rented. Flags and banners decorated the green, and varying cohorts banded together to coordinate snack and sandwich offerings for their group. Junior Victoria Margenat attended the tailgate with friends and their families. 


“I thought it was really cool how so many people were there and getting into it,” Margenat said. “Last year, we honestly did not realize how big the tailgate would be and didn’t do anything, but I am super happy we were able to get a tent and hang out this time. I really enjoyed getting to know my friends’ families and running into people who had tents around ours.”


The tailgate was followed by a football game, where Villanova played Monmouth. Although the Wildcats lost 49-42 to the Hawks, the stands were packed and the energy and excitement of the weekend carried on regardless. 


The final event of a jam-packed Saturday was “An Evening with Colin Jost” in Finneran Pavilion. Comedian Alexander English opened the show, followed by Jost at 9:45. Jost did an hour-long set and notably joked with students about the Villanova-unique pronunciation of “Augustine.”


Sunday morning began with the Senior Breakfast for the Class of 2023 on the Rowen Campus Green. Seniors and their families gathered to celebrate their past four years at Villanova. Senior Marika Yang thought it was the ideal end to the weekend, and, in a way, to her four years at Villanova. 


“The senior breakfast felt to me like a symbolic event where I was able to share a component of the culmination of my time at Villanova with my parents,” Yang said. “I loved being able to see other people from the class of 2023 with their families and how far we all have come.”


The final event of the weekend was a Family Weekend Mass in St. Thomas of Villanova Church. Junior Rachel Stanton attended the event with her family. 


“It was my mom’s favorite part,” Stanton said. “The Mass on Sunday was a perfect way to wrap up Family Weekend. It was incredible to share the Villanova community with our parents and loved ones.”


Following the Mass, some parents packed up their cars while others headed to the airport. Students sulked back to their quarters and caught up on procrastinated homework, yet looked back on the weekend with fondness. Many are looking forward to seeing their families soon, as the upcoming Fall Break is just two weeks away.