Oimg_1833ne of Auburn University’s oldest traditions is honoring the unification of all its students, alumni, faculty, staff and fans; it’s called the Auburn Family. The annual Fall Family Weekend is one of the many ways the Auburn Family is celebrated each year.

This year, Fall Family Weekend was held Sept. 30 – Oct. 2. It included the parent’s breakfast, gameday tailgate and program tours.

Each year, Fall Family Weekend coincides with Homecoming, so that family members can also experience events such as the Homecoming parade, pep rally and concert. Each school, college and department is also responsible for hosting its own events during the celebration.

Fall Family weekend serves as an opportunity for parents and families of students to attend campus activities during the fall semester. All Auburn family members are invited to experience student life, as well as attend a wide variety of activities on campus and in the Auburn community.

Tess Gibson, coordinator for the Office of Parent and Family Programs, said the gameday tailgate is one of the more special parts of the weekend. “It is so cool to see two families who know nothing about each other sit together at the tailgate and connect on a number of things, including where they are from, or the transition that their student has made from high school to college,” said Gibson.

According to Gibson, the tailgate this year took place on the Upper Quad lawn behind Cater Hall, and the size was close to 2,000 guests, which is almost triple the size it has been in recent years. This year the tailgate brought new features such as a photo booth and TVs for the families to watch the football game.

The Office of Parent and Family Programs partners with Tiger Dining each year to serve the guests food items from across campus such as the AU Smokehouse, API and the Olive Branch. This gives families the chance to eat what the students eat every day on campus.

Fall Family Weekend depends on many helping hands in order to be successful. The Auburn University Parents’ Association has a 14-member Board of Directors that assists with the registration and logistics for the tailgate. Gibson said, without the AUPA, Fall Family Weekend would not be possible.

The earliest recorded Fall Family Weekend dates back to 1993. “It is the perfect time for families to come back to campus and visit their student, said Gibson. It falls perfectly in the semester so that students are adjusted and have plenty they want to share. It was awesome to see families reunite that have not seen each other in a few months,” said Gibson.fullsizerender

The AUPA also hosts the annual Home Sweet Auburn event that welcomes Auburn families and students to Auburn during students’ move-in days.

To learn more about the Office of Parent and Family programs, please visit auburn.edu/student_info/student_affairs/AUPA/

To learn more about the AUPA, please visit auburn.edu/student_info/student_affairs/AUPA/parentassociation.php

By Rachel Littleton

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Last modified: 10/07/2016