Parents and Alumni Reflect on Experiences at Annual UChicago Family Weekend

The Homecoming Block Party, model classes, and information sessions offered the greater University community a chance to connect with each other and learn more about the school.


The Main Quad on a sunny day.

By Reanna Lebitski

From October 14 to 16, the University welcomed alumni and family members back to campus to celebrate the annual three-day Family Weekend, which included a Block Party next to Ratner and the homecoming football game.

Family Weekend invited family and friends of students to participate in different events at the University and around Hyde Park, such as information sessions, model classes, and a bus tour of the campus and the surrounding neighborhoods.

Melisa Rousseau (P’25) couldn’t wait to attend the Women in Hollywood lecture taught by professor Aurore Spiers. The class explores women’s involvement in the U.S. film industry. “It’s right up my alley,” she said.

Melisa and Reginald Rousseau (P’25) also had a great time at the Block Party. “We’re blown away by how many people are here. Everybody’s so friendly and there’s a lot of good activities,” Melisa Rousseau said.

Being on campus gave family members the opportunity not only to spend time with their loved ones but also to experience the environment in which students learn.

“This is our first child in college, so we didn’t know what to expect. College seems big and intimidating and yet it feels so intimate here. Everyone is like a family,” Reginald Rousseau said.

While the Block Party provided activities such as pumpkin painting, live music, giveaways, and photo booths, it also gave alumni the opportunity to return to campus for an afternoon to reflect on their time spent studying at the University.

“It’s such a beautiful campus. We just love getting to come here and see the leaves change and visit the old buildings. It’s fun to see the students and think back to what it was like for you and how the whole world was ahead of you and you had no idea what was coming,” Gladys Zolna (J.D. ’03) said. “It’s nice to see the excitement in the students.”

For other alumni, the Block Party is a reminder of how UChicago has played and continues to play a role in shaping their lives.

“Our names were separate before we came here,” Eric Bain-Selbo (Ph.D. ’97) said. “That’s right,” Laura Bain-Selbo (A.M. ’90) added. “I was Bain and you were Selbo.”

“The University has played an important role in our lives. We met here the first week we were both in graduate school. We got married in Bond Chapel and had our reception at the North Lounge of the Reynolds Club,” Eric Bain-Selbo said. “[The University] was key to starting [Laura’s] career. It has shaped my life, so coming back for folks is reminiscing about the time and acknowledging the role that the University played in the trajectory of our lives.”