Century of Family, Friends and Football

Arkansas Tech Family Day

PHOTO | Olivia Orr

Arkansas Tech hosted its annual Family Day on Sept. 17 and welcomed family members of Tech students to explore the campus, participate in tailgating and observe the Wonder Boys football game.

Family Day has been a part of Tech for nearly a century.

“Our president at the time, Hugh Critz, had graduated from Mississippi State, and they had done it in 1923,” Sam Strasner, director of university relations, said. “He thought that that was a swell idea, so he brought it here the next year in 1924. “

Despite the fact that Family Day has existed since 1924, Tech has welcomed change to the event over the past decades. Family Day was originally known as Dad’s Day, but Strasner said that changes to the name occurred in order to mirror the evolution of society.

“It was known as Dad’s Day because in 1924 if you went to school, there’s a pretty good chance that Dad was paying tuition, but society evolved thankfully, so it became Parent’s Day,” Strasner said.

“As society continued to evolve, it realized that some people were raised by their grandparents, and some were raised by their uncle. Whoever it is that you’re leaning on to get you through this thing called college, we want to have a day for them.”

As for more changes the event has gone through, Kevin Solomon, associative dean for campus life, said that Family Day has brought in more people over the years.

“It has grown as parents have become more involved with their students,” Solomon said. “I suspect that the crowds will get bigger and bigger.”

Solomon adds that it’s important for events like Family Day to exist and grow because of how beneficial they are to students.

“I think that people don’t realize how important the family is on the success of the student,” Solomon said. “Having somebody at home that’s rooting for you is huge.”

For Emily Joshlin, psychology major from Cabot, that somebody is her parents.

Joshlin was excited to show her parents a part of her life at Tech.

“They get to see a lot of the campus that they don’t usually get to see,” Joshlin said. “They can see my life here.”

Lori Shelton, Joshlin’s mother, was able to participate in tailgating and take in the university with her daughter.

“We got to see her dorm now that she’s been staying here a while, and we were able to see the campus,” Shelton said. “It’s beautiful. This is a great event.”