When Brianna Bunker began looking at colleges, she searched for a small school in a hip university town that also offered her major, digital filmmaking. Her dad found Stephens College, which had an added bonus in his eyes: it’s a women’s college. Today, Daryl and Sarah Bunker of Lumberton, Texas, are visiting their daughter during Welcome Home Family & Friends Weekend at Stephens. Though she’s only a couple months into her freshman year, Brianna Bunker couldn’t be happier – and neither could her parents.
“Stephens has been perfect for her,” said Sarah Bunker. “She was looking for a school where she wouldn’t feel like a number but in a college town that was fun. She found both at Stephens.”
The Bunkers were among 90 families expected to attend the annual event designed to give family and friends a chance to reconnect with their student and see what her life is like at Stephens.
Today visitors had an opportunity to go back to college and attend a number of select classes. Administrative offices were also open for family and friends to drop in and ask questions.
“Friends and family can see what their student has been doing in their department, enjoy student performances and further connect with the Stephens College community,” said Laura Nunnelly, director of Student Life & Engagement in the Department of Student Development. “This year we are hosting a fall festival and outdoor barbecue lunch, where families can mingle, enjoy music, take a family photo in the photo booth, create a fall craft and just have a fun time with our community.”
The day also included saddle seat riding demonstrations at the Equestrian Center as well as a study abroad presentation at the Student Union. Visitors were encouraged take in a showing of “Blithe Spirit,” at the Macklanburg Playhouse during their weekend stay.
Julie Roth can’t wait to see the production. He daughter, Sydney Sutherland, who transferred to Stephens this year from George Washington University, is working behind the scenes on the play. Sutherland is majoring in musical theatre.
“I can’t wait to see the play and learn more about the performing arts here,” said Roth, who recently moved from Arizona to Illinois to be closer to her daughter.
Roth said her daughter has been much happier with her transfer to a smaller campus.
“This has been a much better fit,” she said.
Activities on Saturday include open houses at the digital film and education departments, the School of Design and the English/creative writing program. The afternoon also includes events sponsored by the College of Creative and Performing Arts such as a Tap & Dance Fest, musical theatre and vocal performances and displays by costume, scenic and lighting design students.
Visitors are invited to stop by the “Joan Crawford Effect” exhibit from 3-4 p.m. at the Historic Costume Gallery on the Mezzanine in Lela Raney Wood Hall.
The weekend concludes with a brunch from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sunday in the Dining Hall in Stamper Commons.
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