Fall Fest weekend draws families, alumni to campus

Open classrooms, student performances, lectures, concerts and more highlight university

Photo/Mike Lovett

Usen castle is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the oldest building on the Brandeis campus

Each year between 1,000 and 1,500 families and alumni come to campus to catch a glimpse of student life during Fall Fest. The weekend includes faculty presentations, student performers, music, plays, open classes, receptions with staff members and a presentation from President Fred Lawrence. This year Fall Fest will take place from Oct 11-15.

Advance free registration is requested as name tags and materials will be provided for the course of the weekend.

“This is an important weekend for families of our students because it is one of three occasions, including orientation and commencement, where everyone is formally invited to campus,” says Stephanie Grimes, director of student activities.

Highlights include a variety show that will highlight 13 student clubs and organizations such as the dance troupe Adagio, VoiceMale, the award-winnng a capella group and Kaos Kids, a hip-hop dance club.

To go along with the theme “Once upon a time at Brandeis” will be a faculty spotlight of Sabine Von Mering, who teaches a class on fairy tales. 

The weekend kicks off on Thursday afternoon with a welcome reception in the Shapiro Campus Center atrium at 5 pm. For those arriving earlier, guests are welcome to check out the Rose Art Museum from noon to 5 p.m.  A univeristy-wide welcome reception will take place on Friday at 3 p.m. in Shapiro.

Additional activities throughout the weekend include the plays “Into the Woods,” and “OR, ” fairy tale trivia night, a variety of open classrooms, The Magic of Science, where graduate students will share some  experiments, Shabbat services and dinner, comedy shows and more.                                                                                                                                       

“A unique thing about Brandeis is that we provide an escorted walk back to the Newton Marriott on Friday night to accommodate our observant families,” says Grimes.

Two music department programs will also take place over the weekend. On Saturday at 7 p.m. the Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra, the university orchestra and the Brandeis Chamber Choir will perform in the Slosberg Music Center.

On Sunday at 3:30 p.m. in Slosberg, there will be concert commemorating Irving Fine, composer, educator and founder of Brandeis School of Creative Arts, Department of Music and Festival of the Creative Arts.

Julie Yu ’13, campus marketing coordinator for Fall Fest weekend, says “Fall Fest is a really good time for the students and their parents to come and have fun. We also welcome alumni to take part as well.”

A few off-campus trips will also be offered, which do have a fee, such as “A night at the Museum of Science,” Hillel’s Shabbat dinner and “Quest thought Concord,” a historical tour of town that boasts Walden Pond, Louisa May Alcott, Henry David Thoreau and the American Revolution. Some of the university’s history professors will be joining the tour for discussions.


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