‘Smiling Faces Everywhere’: Parents and Family Weekend 2021 More than 2,000 parents, family members and friends enjoyed the weekend's many events on campus.
More than 2,000 parents, family members and friends eagerly returned to campus for Parents and Family Weekend 2021, which took place at the beginning of October. Guests participated in a wide range of events, including academic department open houses, lectures, athletic events, choral concerts and even a Japanese tea ceremony.
“It was so great to be back in Lexington,” said Anne MacCowatt P’18, ’22, who chairs the Parents Leadership Council along with her husband Tom. “Everything came together: the beautiful weather, the events and energy on campus, and the smiling faces everywhere,” she said.
Anne and Tom MacCowatt P’18, ’22 arrived on Thursday in time for a presentation by DEA Special Agents Stephen Murphy and Javier Peña about the capture of the notorious cartel leader Pablo Escobar. On Friday, the couple enjoyed accompanying their son Tommy to his business and communications technology course and his development economics course held outdoors. “It is remarkable how professors have not just adapted because of COVID but have really innovated to deliver engaging classes,” Anne MacCowatt said. They capped the weekend with athletic events and parties.
The Parents Leadership Council events were well-attended, and families enjoyed connecting with one another while learning about how the council members provide leadership financial support that benefits all W&L students. “It was so invigorating to be back on campus with parents, students and family members,” said Director of Parent Giving Ronni Gardner. “People were genuinely overjoyed to be together on campus and to have an opportunity to build upon the strong sense of community that is such a fundamental part of the W&L experience,” she said.
Dr. Kingsley and Kwavi Agbeyegbe P’25 were not able to visit W&L during their son Weyimi’s application process, and they had concerns about a lack of diversity on campus. Nonetheless, Weyimi, a member of the men’s soccer team, was excited to join the Class of 2025. His parents’ worries were eased when they helped him move in this fall. “Lexington is so welcoming and friendly,” his mother said.
Kwavi Agbeyegbe, life coach and author of “50 Questions to Answer When You Reach 50,” made friends with Downtown Books owner Paige Williams while touring Lexington in August and was invited to come for a book-signing event during Parents and Family Weekend. “I wrote the book because I encountered a lot of women who were in their fifties and who felt invisible,” she explained. “My goal is to help women rediscover their purpose and passion in life.” She was able to meet many people at the book-signing and throughout the weekend. Husband Kingsley Agbeyegbe and their younger son, Timeyin, enjoyed the weekend festivities, as well. Weyimi Agbeyegbe ’25 even scored the first goal in W&L’s winning soccer match against the University of Lynchburg, with his family cheering him on from the bleachers. “It was really special to witness that moment,” his mother said.
“We had an amazing experience at Parents and Family Weekend, and we are already trying to book accommodations for next year,” Kwavi Agbeyegbe said. “The parents are great, and it is nice to have a community of parents you can call on.”
Stephen and Tiffany Stripling P’25 were thrilled to join their son Harris on campus for the weekend. The couple attended the President’s breakfast and also made connections with other parents through the Palmetto Chapter event. The couple felt warmly welcomed and invited into all aspects of campus life.
“We are grateful that Harris is a part of the W&L family and community,” Tiffany Stripling said. “We felt that the social and philanthropic organizations complemented the university’s core values in addition to the strong academic areas. The faculty made us feel welcome and encouraged our participation in all areas. It was a perfect, fun-filled and engaging weekend interacting with parents and students,” she said.