MC’s Family Weekend 2011 Set for October 7-8

By Press Release

Tailgating on the Quad, a student talent show, a Choctaws football game, soccer contests and tribal breakfasts are all part of the fun at Mississippi College’s Family Weekend.

Attracting 360 visitors to the Clinton campus last year, the events October 7-8 will also include student productions of the famed Broadway show “Guys and Dolls,” a book bazaar to benefit the Leland Speed Library, an ice cream social and much more.

“Hundreds of students, parents, alumni and friends gather on the campus and in the City of Clinton to celebrate our strengths in education and community,” said Jim Turcotte, vice president for enrollment management and student affairs. “This is one of the largest and most important weekends for the college every year,” he said. “Family Weekend brings the Mississippi College community together in a unique way.”

“There is more tailgating now than ever before,” said Joseph Odenwald, assistant director of student life. There were 37 families transporting their tailgating delights to the Quad last fall, and more folks are planning to sign up this year, he said.

Brownies, loads of grilled hamburgers, barbecue sandwiches, sweet tea and pecan pies are traditional Family Weekend staples on the Clinton campus.

Tailgaters and other Family Weekend visitors are coming from big cities like Houston, Texas and making the trip from small towns across the South. If gas prices keep falling closer to $3 per gallon, and the Central Mississippi weather is picture-perfect, a nice turnout is anticipated this fall.

“We expect Family Weekend 2011 to be a memorable one, particularly for first-year students and their families,” Odenwald said. “We are praying for good weather.”

The events begin Friday October 7 with the 4th annual book bazaar at Alumni Gym from noon until 6 p.m. There will be more than 14,000 books, records, and other items for sale at bargain prices. Last year’s two-day sale led by MC library volunteers raised more than $11,000. Signed books by best-selling author John Grisham and artist Wyatt Waters of Clinton will be part of the event’s silent auction. The book sale in Alumni Gym also is open for business from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday.

Movie fans who enjoyed Hollywood’s 1955 version of “Guys and Dolls” starring Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, and Vivian Blaine will want to check out MC’s student version. It opens at 7 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Jean Pittman Williams Recital Hall. The play tells the story of a New York gambler who takes a female missionary to Havana, Cuba and the two fall in love along the way. The show opened on Broadway in 1950 and has seen a number of revivals over the years, including a 2009 run in New York.

Family Weekend visitors can catch a second performance of “Guys and Dolls” at 7 p.m. Saturday. Call Dottie Serio at 601.925.3440 at the Department of Music for ticket information. A student talent show at 8 a.m. Friday presented by the Campus Activities Board should draw plenty of parents, other family members and scores of friends to Swor Auditorium.

Visitors who love to eat will have plenty of opportunities. There’s a 9:30 p.m. ice cream social at the B.C. Rogers Plaza on Friday evening, four tribal breakfasts on the Clinton campus Saturday morning (at 10 a.m.), two-hour tailgating on the Quad beginning 3 p.m. Saturday and a 4 p.m. dinner on the Quad.

Sports fans will notice a smorgasbord of athletic events on their plate, too, on October 8th.

It starts off with the Lady Choctaws taking on Mary-Hardin Baylor in a 1 p.m. soccer game Saturday at Longabaugh Field followed by the men’s soccer team facing the same Texas school at 3 p.m. Visitors will want to bring their binoculars to watch the MC Cross Country Invitational 8K at Choctaw Trails starting 4:30 p.m.

Football fans should be in their seats at 6 p.m. Saturday to cheer on the Choctaws in a key American Southwest Conference matchup at Robinson-Hale Stadium with nationally ranked Mary-Hardin Baylor.

On Sunday, parents are encouraged to attend church in the Jackson area with their MC students.

There are some costs to attend Family Weekend events, including the showings of “Guys and Dolls,” ($15 for adults and $10 for students), the Saturday dinner on the Quad ($10) and the football game ($4). Contact Joseph Odenwald for more information on ticket prices, and other activities during this fun-filled weekend in Clinton. He can be reached at 601.925.3248 or odenwald@mc.edu. Also visit www.mc.edu/familyweekend for more details.

Mississippi College visitors seeking a place to stay can check out the complete list of hotels in Clinton by visiting the Clinton Chamber of Commerce website at www.clintonms.org.