By Katherine Kelley
Family Day reunited Purchase families with fun activities including a brunch, carnival, meet and greet with President Milagros Peña, and Family Feud.
The day started at 10 a.m. with brunch outside the Dining Hall. Near the entrance, family members met up with their students. This was an easy feat for some relatives, but others were less lucky.
"We're looking for our student,” said parent Celeste Jones. “I'm wondering if they’re still sleeping.”
At the check-in, visitors had to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test, showing that Purchase was taking the safety precautions seriously.
"Since the campus is this little set-aside community, it feels safer,” said parent Julie Rey.
The brunches were done in sessions to prevent too many people from being in the Dining Hall at the same time. Inside, tables were blocked off with chains to stop people from eating inside. Outside there was a large tent where people could sit and eat.
This Dining Hall was a far cry from the one that students eat at every day. With the tables blocked off, the hall was nearly silent, and only a few people were inside. Staff ran around quickly, cleaning up spills and filling up empty food trays. In addition to the typical food that the Dining Hall serves, they had a variety of baked goods and hot beverages. There were apple cider donuts, pumpkin pie, sweet cornbread, and hot and cold apple cider.
Some Purchase students' relatives, like grandmother Cynthia Howard, were impressed by the quality of the food. Others wondered if it was worth the ticket price.
"I saw people complaining on Facebook about the $38, and I get it," said Rey.
Even with the different brunch sessions, the tables under the tent filled up pretty quickly.
People were sitting just about everywhere. Jazz music played by Purchase students accompanied the meals.
"The music was excellent," said Alexandria Russell, sister of a studio production major.
Some family members, like Ginger Russell, were pleasantly surprised by such good weather in the middle of October. The day was sunny and warm, perfect weather for an event like Family Day.
Unfortunately, the guests weren't the only ones basking in the day. Yellowjackets swarmed around people's faces and their food.
"They're relentless," said Howard. The wasps were an ever-present annoyance across the whole day.
The carnival started at 11 a.m. and included pumpkin painting, a single game, and live music. The band played covers of many beloved songs like "Valerie" and "Sweet Caroline." Many families were pleased by the ambiance.
Families came from all over to be at Purchase on Saturday. Some families flew from Seattle, while others were much closer, like New York City. For many, it was their first time on campus.
When asked how she liked Family Day so far, Howard said, "I love it, and this is my first time at the college."
President Milagros Peña had a meet and greet at 2 p.m. where Purchase students and their families could talk to her individually. The meet and greet had complimentary wine, cheese, crackers, and hummus for people to enjoy.
President Peña was excited about the event. “This is what we’ve been waiting for," she said. “It makes the opening of the college feel wonderful."
The day's final event was Family Feud, where different Purchase families could act out the famous game show. Towards the end of the day, guests started going home or setting off on their own with their students. Still, about 10 families showed up to play and watch.
The game was played tournament-style with random families playing against each other and the winner continuing to the next round. The final winners got to take home a bunch of Purchase merchandise. People were having fun, clapping, and playing the Family Feud theme song on their phones, capping off the day.
Despite some annoyances and minor complications, people really enjoyed Family Day.
"It's been great, the weather's perfect, and we're chilling," said Alexandria Russell.
Ginger Russell, her mother, agreed, "This is actually my third time, and they always do a great job."
Howard was blown away by Family Day. She said, "God willing, Grandma is coming next year."