Families gather at UT for Family Weekend events

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On Friday, families from across the state and nation descended on UT for a three-day celebration of Family Weekend.

Barbecue, bowling and bingo were all events during the almost 100 -year-old tradition. Susie Smith, director of the Texas Parents Association, said the family meet and greet started in 1923 and has grown ever since.

“The thing that I think is most important about Family Weekend is not the tours or presentations, but having the ability, as a parent who has left their kid here a couple of months ago, to be able to see them in this environment that they are now calling home,” Smith said.

One of the events that took place during Family Weekend was the Welcome Reception in the Sylvie and Gary Crum Touchdown Club. Families, like mathematics junior Matt Espinosa and his parents, were able to look out at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium and enjoy some ice cream.

“It’s pretty cool that (my parents) get to see everything, and I get to see the stadium, which is wonderful,” Espinosa said.

The event was special for the Espinosa family because this is the first Family Weekend they have been able to attend. This is also the first time Matt’s dad, Daniel Espinosa, has been inside the stadium in 40 years.

“I’ve been a fan since I was a little kid, and the last time I was here was when I was 10 years old, so I’ve been dying to come back and go to a game,” Daniel Espinosa said. “I am extremely excited.”

Matt Espinosa said his father is such a big fan that they have a room in their house decorated with all UT merchandise. As for Daniel Espinosa, he is extremely proud of his son for being a Longhorn.

“He knows I love it,” Daniel Espinosa said. “He’s been to a lot of different places, but UT has made me so happy, and I can’t wait to see him graduate.”

The event ended Sunday, but Smith said it’s moments like these that make what she does worth it.

“Just the knowledge that you’re creating a great memory for them,” Smith said. “As soon as a student is admitted to the University, the University wants to make sure parents and families understand we welcome them into the UT family as well as their student.”