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Regatta, Speeches, and Concerts Will Round Out Parents' Weekend Events

By Karen E. Robinson
Staff Reporter

MIT's annual Family Weekend begins today, with scads of activities planned to acquaint parents and siblings with their student's life at the Institute, as well as events for families whose students are too busy to help them explore the campus.

A new event this year is a faculty lecture, given by Nobel Laureate Jerome I. Freidman. Freidman, who shared the 1990 Nobel Prize in Physics with Henry W. Kendall for the discovery of quarks, will speak on his work in this area. According to Jill Pullen, an alumni affairs officer, this talk should be the "highlight of the weekend."

Also eagerly anticipated this weekend is the Head of the Charles Regatta. Bridges over the Charles River, especially nearer Harvard, are expected to be packed. Students and parents are encouraged to go early to secure a good view of this event, which occurs on both Saturday and Sunday.

This weekend was chosen for Family Weekend partially because of the Regatta and partially because of the fall colors displayed around the Boston area, Pullen said.

All day Friday, most departments invite parents to visit their student's classes, and there are also various open houses around campus, including tours of the Media Lab and other facilities. Many dormitories and living groups also welcome parents and families to drop by or dine with them.

At 6:30 p.m., the MITConcert Band, Brass Quintet, Brass Ensemble and Festival Jazz Ensemble will perform their annual family weekend concert in Kresge Auditorium.

The skeleton of activities is largely the same from year to year, with different featured speakers and a slightly different theme.

On Saturday, PresidentCharles M. Vest will present his annual keynote speech entitled "Vision of the Future."

Other events offered during Parent's Weekend will also relate to this theme, Pullen said.

Afterwards, parents will be invited to meet senior officials in the Office of the Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education and participate in an activities expo.

Saturday afternoon, parents and students will be able to participate in additional tours and events, before the annual family weekend dinner on Saturday evening.

Afterwards, the student a cappella groups will present their annual family weekend concert in 10-250, and the MITSymphony Orchestra will perform in Kresge Auditorium.

Hundreds of parents will attend

About 675 parents and family members pre-registered for this year's family weekend, Pullen said. Of registered families, roughly half will be visiting freshmen, 20 percent sophomores, 13 percent juniors, and 17 percent seniors, which is not substantially changed from previous years.

In addition to registered families, between 400 and 500 other people are expected to come this weekend and register on site.

The Family Weekend luncheon with Freidman will be held today at noon. Tickets were on sale during preregistration for $18, and can be purchased before the lecture.

Registration for parent's weekend will occur today in Lobby 10 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and tomorrow from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.