Parents Weekend

Cocky and his parents

Parents Weekend 2016 will take place Sept. 16-18! Registration is required and will be available June 13 at 9 a.m. through Aug. 26 at 4 p.m. Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged! Make plans to arrive on Thursday evening so you can participate in the activities all day on Friday.

Events will be added to the Parents Weekend 2016 schedule throughout the coming months so continue to check back for updates!

Parents Weekend FAQs

Parents Weekend 2016 Tentative Schedule of Events
Updated 5/25/2016
All events are subject to change.


Friday, Sept. 16

8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
A Compass to Guide: South Carolina Cabinet Makers Today
McKissick Museum, 2nd Floor, South Gallery
A Compass to Guide: South Carolina Cabinet Makers Today focuses on the cabinet makers’ regional differences and similarities, exploring the roots of their respective traditions. This exhibition incorporates photographs and oral histories, exploring how artists learned their craft. Furniture from over twenty artists actively practicing in South Carolina is also featured. Sponsored by McKissick Museum, College of Arts and Sciences

8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
McKissick Museum: Invitation to Explore
McKissick Museum, 1st Floor Gallery
Just as university programs require many people to ensure successful experiences, museums have a number of individuals who work behind the scenes. Every exhibit at McKissick is the shared product of many people who largely do their work anonymously but this exhibit is different. In addition to presenting the varied parts of the museum’s collection, these cases introduce the permanent staff, revealing a little bit about why they do what they do. The exhibit includes some of the staff’s favorite artifacts, some never before exhibited, from the museum’s collections of Southern stoneware, sweetgrass baskets, gems and minerals, university history artifacts, political memorabilia, fine art, Baruch silver, textiles, art glass and Folk Heritage Award winner items. Sponsored by McKissick Museum, College of Arts and Sciences

8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections Exhibit
Ernest F. Hollings Library, Thomas Cooper Library
Stop by the Ernest F. Hollings Library to view the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. The exhibits in the galleries are “Much Ado About Shakespeare” and “Interpreting Faulkner: Selections from the Nancy and Reece Williams Faulkner Collection.” Sponsored by University Libraries

8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Natural Curiosity: The University of South Carolina and the Evolution of Scientific Inquiry in the Natural World
McKissick Museum, 3rd Floor
Humans possess a fascination with the natural world around them. From the 32,000-year-old cave paintings of horses in France to the giraffe stickers today’s children paste into their activity books, we can see that humans are eager to see, touch, collect and understand nature. “Natural Curiosity” explores this curiosity about nature by asking questions about why we collect natural specimens and artifacts, how we display them and what they tell us about our relationship with and obligations to the natural world. Through an examination of approaches to building and maintaining the natural science collections at the University of South Carolina, this exhibition also offers a glimpse of the impressive array of specimens collected and displayed over the past 200 years for the purposes of education, research and entertainment. Sponsored by McKissick Museum, College of Arts and Sciences

9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Carolina Tech Zone
1244 Blossom Street
Drop in and watch student employees at the Carolina Tech Zone provide free hands-on assistance to students who have issues with their technical equipment. Technicians in the Carolina Tech Zone can assist with virus removal, software installation, hardware installation and more. Current students should never pay for technology assistance without first stopping by the Carolina Tech Zone! Sponsored by University Technology Systems

10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Parents Weekend Check-In
Russell House Ballroom
All registered Parents Weekend participants should check in to pick up their materials, including the Guide to Parents Weekend, schedule of events, nametags, tickets and other goodies!

10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Parent Resource Fair
Russell House Ballroom
While you’re checking in for Parents Weekend, visit with representatives from key university offices, including the USC Bookstore, Career Center, CarolinaCard, Dining, Parking Services, USCPD, Student Health Services, Student Life and University Housing. Registered for the Parents Weekend 5K? Pick up your race packet! Sponsored by the Office of Parents Programs

10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Student Athletic Ticketing Help Desk
Russell House, Room 309
Stop by and speak with staff from Student Athletic Ticketing to learn more about getting student tickets for athletic events. Sponsored by the Student Athletic Ticket Office

11 a.m.-noon
Behind-the-Scenes Tour of McKissick Museum
McKissick Museum, 2nd floor
Come explore the rarely seen treasures in the McKissick Museum’s massive collection. With more than 100,000 gem and mineral specimens, sweetgrass baskets, Edgefield pottery and even the first Cocky uniform, McKissick has something for everyone! Sponsored by McKissick Museum, College of Arts and Sciences

11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Bistro Lunch at the McCutchen House
McCutchen House, Horseshoe
Operated by the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, students prepare and serve lunch under the close supervision of the director and professional chefs. Enjoy this delicious meal with your family for just $10 per person. To make reservations, call 803-777-4450. Sponsored by the McCutchen House

11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Southern Cookout at the Top
Top of Carolina, Capstone House
Enjoy a traditional Southern cookout at the Top of Carolina, South Carolina’s only revolving restaurant, with a 360-degree view of the metropolitan Columbia area and the University of South Carolina campus. The cost is $12.95 per person (plus tax). Advance reservations are required. You can make a reservation at tinyurl.com/PWTOC2016. When you arrive at Capstone, take the elevator to the 18th floor. Sponsored by Carolina Dining

1-1:45 p.m.
Study Abroad: See the World!
Russell House Theater
This informal session will provide information about the study-, intern-, volunteer- and research-abroad opportunities available to USC students as well as answer questions about credit, financial aid, scholarships and safety abroad. Also, families are encouraged to stop by the Study Abroad Office, located in the Close-Hipp Building, suite 453 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. to have additional questions answered by staff and student ambassadors. Sponsored by the Study Abroad Office

1-1:45 p.m.
University 101: Parent Edition
Russell House, Room TBD
More than 80 percent of first-year students at USC participate in the nationally-recognized first-year seminar, University 101. To provide insight into University 101, this parents-only session of UNIV 101 will engage you in a classroom experience similar to what your student experiences! Come see how University 101 helps students successfully transition to the university and achieve personal and academic success in their first-year of college. Sponsored by University 101 Programs

2-2:45 p.m.
Preparing Your Sophomore Student for Success
Russell House, Room TBD
Ever heard of the sophomore slump? Families who have students in their second academic year at UofSC should attend this session to learn about opportunities and pitfalls that students may face in their second year. Attendees will learn about campus resources that can help sophomore students and what questions they can ask to help their students navigate the sophomore year successfully. Sponsored by the Student Success Center

2-2:45 p.m.
Study Abroad: See the World!
Russell House Theater
This informal session will provide information about the study-, intern-, volunteer- and research-abroad opportunities available to USC students as well as answer questions about credit, financial aid, scholarships and safety abroad. Also, families are encouraged to stop by the Study Abroad Office, located in the Close-Hipp Building, suite 453 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. to have additional questions answered by staff and student ambassadors. Sponsored by the Study Abroad Office

2-2:45 p.m.
What’s the Big Deal About Sweet Tea?
Russell House, Room TBD
Welcome y’all! Are you curious about the “famously hot” environment your out-of-state student now calls home? Join us for all things Southern as we introduce you to the South, USC culture and Gamecock traditions! You also will be able to connect with other out-of-state families and learn about how the Student Success Center supports your out-of-state student so he or she can succeed academically and socially at the University of South Carolina. Sponsored by the Student Success Center

2-3:30 p.m.
Open House for the School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment
Jones Physical Science Building, Room 108
Families of students majoring in environmental science or studies, marine science, geophysics and geology are invited to mingle with the faculty and staff of the department and tour the laboratory facilities. Sponsored by the School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment

2-5 p.m.
Gamecock Gateway Open House
Bates House Lounge
Parents and students are invited to drop-in and meet the Gamecock Gateway Leadership Team. Learn more about the collaborative and personalized academic support and opportunities Gamecock Gateway students are receiving. Sponsored by Gamecock Gateway and the Student Success Center

3-3:45 p.m.
Air Force ROTC Educational Session
ROTC Center, 513 Pickens Street
Curious what life is like for an Air Force ROTC cadet? Find out at this session! Activities include an Air Force ROTC overview briefing, stories from cadets who recently attended summer internships and field training, a group leadership problem, as well as a question and answer session. Parents of current/prospective cadets are encouraged to attend. Sponsored by Air Force ROTC.

3-3:45 p.m.
A Parent’s Guide to Off-Campus Student Housing
Russell House Theater
It may seem like you just moved your student into his or her freshman residence hall, but it’s time to start considering options for the next few years! Join Off-Campus Student Services and Student Legal Services to discuss what steps your student should take to learn about living off campus. Topics covered in this presentation include the housing search, lease review tips and general commuter information. Sponsored by Off-Campus Student Services and Student Legal Services

3-3:45 p.m.
Making the Most of a Carolina Education: Engagement Beyond the Classroom and Graduation with Leadership Distinction
Russell House, Room TBD
Parents play an invaluable role in providing students with the assurance and direction needed to pursue their goals, and USC Connect wants to partner with families in that endeavor. USC Connect encourages students to think about how their experiences and academics influence one another and impact long-term goals. Learn about this nationally recognized initiative and how your student may be bestowed the honor of Graduation with Leadership Distinction. Sponsored by USC Connect

3-4 p.m.
Behind-the-Scenes Tour of McKissick Museum
McKissick Museum, 2nd floor
Come explore the rarely seen treasures in the McKissick Museum’s massive collection. With more than 100,000 gem and mineral specimens, sweetgrass baskets, Edgefield pottery and even the first Cocky uniform, McKissick has something for everyone! Sponsored by McKissick Museum, College of Arts and Sciences

3-4 p.m.
Opportunities Abound in Public Health: A Drop-In
Public Health Research Center, 921 Assembly Street, Lower Lobby
Parents and students are invited to a reception to meet faculty and staff in the Arnold School of Public Health. Learn more about the undergraduate degrees in public health and exercise science. Sponsored by the Arnold School of Public Health

4-4:45 p.m.
A Parent’s Guide to Off-Campus Student Housing
Russell House Theater
It may seem like you just moved your student into his or her freshman residence hall, but it’s time to start considering options for the next few years! Join Off-Campus Student Services and Student Legal Services to discuss what steps your student should take to learn about living off campus. Topics covered in this presentation include the housing search, lease review tips and general commuter information. Sponsored by Off-Campus Student Services and Student Legal Services

4:30-6: p.m.
College of Education Instruction and Teacher Education Drop-In
Wardlaw College, Room 110
The College of Education’s Instruction and Teacher Education Department invites current students, family members and alumni to meet faculty representatives from the early childhood, elementary and middle level programs. This will be a wonderful opportunity to connect with College of Education faculty members and ask questions related to the programs. Sponsored by the College of Education

Time TBD
Horseshoe
President’s Welcome Reception
Stop by the President’s Welcome Reception to meet Carolina’s “first family,” Dr. Harris Pastides and Ms. Patricia Moore-Pastides, as they officially welcome you to Parents Weekend 2016! Visit the beautiful historic Horseshoe while enjoying a few hors d’oeuvres at this drop-in reception. Make sure to wear your Parents Weekend nametag! Sponsored by the Office of Parents Programs

6 p.m.
The Boss
Russell House Theater
Enjoy this free movie with your family! Star Melissa McCarthy headlines The Boss as a titan of industry who is sent to prison after she’s caught for insider trading. When she emerges ready to rebrand herself as America’s latest sweetheart, not everyone is so quick to forgive and forget. Students should show their CarolinaCard. Sponsored by Carolina Productions.

8-11 p.m.
Carolina Beach Bash
Strom Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center, Pool House Entrance on Park Street
Experience a Southern beach party poolside while enjoying great Southern foods and music! Dine on delicious Southern foods like shrimp and grits, pecan-crusted chicken, brisket sliders, banana pudding, pecan pie and much more! Bring your dancing shoes for one of South Carolina’s most enjoyable traditions – beach music. Play a game of corn hole with your family. Take a photo with your family in the photo booth. Visit with our beloved mascot Cocky. Get ready for a fun Friday night Parents Weekend tradition! Make sure to wear your Parents Weekend nametag (and bring your drink tickets, if applicable) as it is required to enter the event. Enter the party at the white tent near the Strom’s pool house gate located on Park Street. This event is subject to change based on weather conditions. Sponsored by the Office of Parents Programs

8:30-11 p.m.
Parents Night at the Observatory
Melton Memorial Observatory
Visit the Melton Memorial Observatory for stargazing! The observatory will be open for students and parents to view the moon and other celestial objects, weather permitting. The 16-inch Cassegrain telescope mounted inside the observatory dome and several smaller telescopes on the observing deck will be used for this stargazing experience. Sponsored by the Melton Memorial Observatory

9 p.m.
The Jungle Book
Russell House Theater
Enjoy this free movie with your family! This adventure, inspired by the animated film of the same name, tells the story of Mowgli, an orphaned human boy who, guided by his animal guardians, sets out on a journey of self-discovery while evading the threatening Shere Khan. Students should show their CarolinaCard. Sponsored by Carolina Productions


Saturday, Sept. 17

8 a.m. (rain or shine)
Parents Weekend 5K
Run or walk the 5K course for fun with your family! Dress for a hot, humid South Carolina day! Registration will be available online in June! Sponsored by Campus Recreation and the Office of Parents Programs

10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Check-in time subject to change based on football game)
Parents Weekend Check-In
Russell House Ballroom
All registered Parents Weekend participants should check in to pick up their materials, including the Guide to Parents Weekend, schedule of events, nametags, tickets and other fun items!

11 a.m.-noon
Tour of McKissick Museum’s Exhibitions
McKissick Museum, 2nd Floor Lobby
Enjoy a curator-led tour of the museum’s exhibitions, “James Byrnes: From South Carolina to the World,” “A Compass to Guide: South Carolina Cabinet Makers Today,” “Looking Back/Looking Ahead: Columbia’s Sesquicentennial Time Capsule” and “Natural Curiosity: The University of South Carolina and the Evolution of Scientific Inquiry in the Natural World.” Sponsored by McKissick Museum, College of Arts and Sciences

11 a.m.- 3 p.m.
A Compass to Guide: South Carolina Cabinet Makers Today
McKissick Museum, 2nd Floor, South Gallery
A Compass to Guide: South Carolina Cabinet Makers Today focuses on the cabinet makers’ regional differences and similarities, exploring the roots of their respective traditions. This exhibition incorporates photographs and oral histories, exploring how artists learned their craft. Furniture from over twenty artists actively practicing in South Carolina is also featured. Sponsored by McKissick Museum, College of Arts and Sciences

11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Natural Curiosity: The University of South Carolina and the Evolution of Scientific Inquiry in the Natural World
McKissick Museum, 3rd Floor
Humans possess a fascination with the natural world around them. From the 32,000-year-old cave paintings of horses in France to the giraffe stickers today’s children paste into their activity books, we can see that humans are eager to see, touch, collect and understand nature. “Natural Curiosity” explores this curiosity about nature by asking questions about why we collect natural specimens and artifacts, how we display them and what they tell us about our relationship with and obligations to the natural world. Through an examination of approaches to building and maintaining the natural science collections at the University of South Carolina, this exhibition also offers a glimpse of the impressive array of specimens collected and displayed over the past 200 years for the purposes of education, research and entertainment. Sponsored by McKissick Museum, College of Arts and Sciences

Time TBD, starts two and a half hours before football game kickoff
Parents Weekend Tailgate Party
Old football practice field, corner of Bluff and National Guard Roads (entrance is on National Guard Road)
Get excited for the football game against East Carolina University at this traditional, Southern tailgate party! Visit with Cocky, Cocky’s parents and the cheerleaders, and listen to live music from The Reggie Sullivan Band and the Carolina Marching Band! Enjoy tailgate food like barbecue, hot dogs, chicken fingers and more! Plenty of food and drinks will be available. Please refer to the Football Fan Guide for gameday and parking information, or take the shuttle to the game. (Walking directions from the shuttle drop-off point to the Tailgate Party are located in the Guide to Parents Weekend, which you will receive at check-in. Please keep in mind that the walk from the shuttle drop-off to the Tailgate Party is approximately 1.1 miles.) Make sure to bring your Parents Weekend nametag (and drink tickets, if applicable) and football game tickets! All guests, including Carolina students, must have their Parents Weekend nametag to enter the Tailgate Party. Please note that individual tickets to this event are not available as this event is exclusive to the Parents Weekend package. This event is subject to change based on weather conditions. Sponsored by the Office of Parents Programs

11 a.m.-3 p.m.
McKissick Museum: Invitation to Explore
McKissick Museum, 1st Floor Gallery
Just as university programs require many people to ensure successful experiences, museums have a number of individuals who work behind the scenes. Every exhibit at McKissick is the shared product of many people who largely do their work anonymously but this exhibit is different. In addition to presenting the varied parts of the museum’s collection, these cases introduce the permanent staff, revealing a little bit about why they do what they do. The exhibit includes some of the staff’s favorite artifacts, some never before exhibited, from the museum’s collections of Southern stoneware, sweetgrass baskets, gems and minerals, university history artifacts, political memorabilia, fine art, Baruch silver, textiles, art glass and Folk Heritage Award winner items. Sponsored by McKissick Museum, College of Arts and Sciences

Time TBD
South Carolina vs. East Carolina University
Williams-Brice Stadium
Enjoy Carolina football as the Gamecocks take on the East Carolina Pirates! Make sure to take your tickets for the game, and enter the stadium at the correct gate. Be in your seats at least 20 minutes before kickoff to experience the best entrance in college football!

6 p.m.
The Boss
Russell House Theater
Enjoy this free movie with your family! Star Melissa McCarthy headlines The Boss as a titan of industry who is sent to prison after she’s caught for insider trading. When she emerges ready to rebrand herself as America’s latest sweetheart, not everyone is so quick to forgive and forget. Students should show their CarolinaCard. Sponsored by Carolina Productions.

9 p.m.
The Jungle Book
Russell House Theater
Enjoy this free movie with your family! This adventure, inspired by the animated film of the same name, tells the story of Mowgli, an orphaned human boy who, guided by his animal guardians, sets out on a journey of self-discovery while evading the threatening Shere Khan. Students should show their CarolinaCard. Sponsored by Carolina Productions


Sunday, Sept. 18

10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Maxcy College Parents Brunch
Maxcy College
The International House at Maxcy College invites Maxcy residents and their families to this special brunch highlighting events and programs at the International House. Come enjoy a catered breakfast and hear from students and staff about plans for the upcoming school year. RSVP by September 1 to Kareemah Hosendove at hosendkt@mailbox.sc.edu. Sponsored by the International House at Maxcy College

10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Brunch at Top of Carolina
Top of Carolina, Capstone House
Enjoy brunch at the Top of Carolina, South Carolina’s only revolving restaurant, with a 360-degree view of the metropolitan Columbia area and the beautiful University of South Carolina campus. The cost is $23.95 per person (plus tax). Advance reservations are required. You can make a reservation at tinyurl.com/PWTOC2016. When you arrive at Capstone, take the elevator to the 18th floor. Sponsored by Carolina Dining