Beginning on Friday, October 4, over 90 parents (and siblings and family members) joined their sons and daughters for Parents Weekend at The King’s College. Family members from around the country gathered in the King’s lobby on Friday afternoon to check in. The events began on Friday afternoon as parents were given the option to attend two of six classes. Class choices included Arts and Ideas of The Ancient World (taught by Dr. Henry Bleatter), Economic Thought and Practice (taught by Dr. Paul Mueller), and Philosophy of Religion (taught by Dr. Joshua Hershey).
On Friday evening, the parents enjoyed a welcome reception with light snacks and refreshments. One attendee was Leslie Bustard, a parent of a student in the House of Truth and a six-year member of the Parents Advisory Council. Bustard shared, “The reception was a lovely time to reconnect with some parents I met during NSO [New Student Orientation] weekend. I was grateful for the prayer time at the end of the reception. It was a great time for each House and the parents to gather around and pray for their child’s House. I loved praying with fellow ‘Truthie’ parents—folks I had met before and already appreciated!”
Vice President for Student Development and Enrollment Management Eric Bennett welcomed the parents at the evening reception. Bustard continued, “[Bennett] always reminds us during NSO that by the sixth week of school, our students are starting to become weary, and that Parents Weekend is a great time to offer refreshment to them. I’m glad that I can come up and take my daughter out for food, errands, and groceries.”
Events continued on Saturday with breakfast and a morning program. Parents then split into separate sessions for first-year and returning parents. After these sessions, parents met in the City Room to enjoy the 6th Annual High Tea and Auction Luncheon, which serves as a fundraiser for the athletics department at King’s. Daniel Fuenzalida (PPE ’20), captain of the men’s soccer team and president of SAAC (Student Athlete Advisory Committee) at King’s, led the room in prayer at the beginning of the luncheon.
Motivational speaker Gian Paul Gonzalez then spoke to the parents about his philosophy of being fully committed, wherever God has placed him. Gonzalez’s connections to King’s run deep. He has previously served as coach to the men’s basketball team at King’s and he married a King’s alumna, Liz Christenson-Gonzalez (Business ’11).
Gonzalez is known for giving the now-famous “ALL IN” speech to the New York Giants prior to the 2011 Christmas Eve game against the New York Jets. The speech is widely recognized as inspiring the team toward their Super Bowl victory in February 2012. Gonzalez’s address emphasized how he’s chosen to dedicate himself to God, to his family, and to the high school students he teaches in Union City, N.J.
The schedule for Sunday was left open so that students could introduce their parents to their homes away from home, attend church, and explore the City together. For example, the Bustard family chose to spend part of Parents Weekend taking their daughter and her roommates out for dessert. Bustard said, “Those will be precious memories for me and also reminders to pray not only for my daughter but for the girls living with her.”