By Marielle Echavez, Staff Writer —

UTC held its annual Fall Family Weekend for all students on Sept. 20-22, in which families of UTC students visit Chattanooga for a variety of events. 


This event includes a welcome reception on Friday night to welcome all parents into town, and gives them the opportunity to meet with some campus administrators and faculty. 


This year’s welcome reception was held at the Creative Discovery Museum, whose purpose was to create an engaging environment for adults to learn how to play again.


Along with the reception, a pre-game tailgate was hosted in the First Tennessee Pavilion before the game, and families were allowed to purchase tickets for the football game. 


Coordinator for student and family engagement Hannah Turcotte said that her responsibilities are to help program the parent and family association, including this year’s Fall Family Weekend.


“Fall Family Weekend is one of the biggest programs that we do to bring families back to campus and engage with their students and with what we have happening on campus,” Trucotte said.


Compared to previous years, registration for Fall Family Weekend closed a few hours early. 


According to Turcotte, the reasons for this were not only the increased number of freshman students but also because there were changes made in the association this year.


“This is the first year that the association itself has been free to every parents on campus, so our registration numbers skyrocketed this year,” Turcotte said.


Communication about Fall Family Weekend also reached more parents this year than usual, so the early close in registration was because they had hit capacity at all of their events relatively quickly.


Although some parents were unable to sign up due to the early registration closing, there were other opportunities for families to stay involved during Fall Family Weekend.


Families were still able to purchase tickets to the football game directly from UTC Athletics. 


In addition, UTC students and their family members were able to visit the Tennessee Aquarium and IMAX 3D Theater for half price.


Freshman Destiney Tackett was not able to get tickets to the full family weekend, but she was able to get involved because her sorority held Gamma Phi Beta family day at the sorority house. 


Tackett brought many family members to Chattanooga, from both Memphis and Florida.


“My favorite part of this weekend has been showing my family where I live and around Chattanooga,” Tackett said.


Turcotte’s favorite part about this experience was that she got to play a role in helping pack the stadium with families and get more fans to the games, she said. 


“I love our football team and our stadium,” Turcotte said. “It’s a really engaging environment, so being able to bring families into that kind of environment is really fun.”

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