The Office of Parent & Family Programs offers a variety of events throughout the year. We know the importance of maintaining strong relationships between parents and their college students. To help develop and grow these positive relationships, we host special events for your family to get together throughout the year. Events held on campus offer faculty and staff interaction, as well as the opportunity to become more familiar with our campus. We also encourage you to participate in other University and community events. If you are planning to visit Columbia, let us know! We would love to see you!

Freshmen Send-Offs

Each summer, Parents Advisory Council members and Carolina alumni clubs from various geographical areas sponsor social events for South Carolina-bound students. Coordinated through the Office of Parent & Family Programs, incoming Carolina students and their families are invited to meet each other before moving to Columbia. Parents Advisory Council members currently have students who attend Carolina and are great resources for new families. Many alumni remember how exciting their first semester at Carolina was and love to share stories and advice. Representatives from the university also attend the send-off parties. These gatherings are always exciting events and we look forward to them each summer!


Mark your calendars for Parents Weekend 2018, to be held Oct. 5-7! Families of all undergraduate students are encouraged to visit campus for a fun weekend! Events include a variety of social and educational activities for parents to visit their student’s new home away from home. Highlights of the weekend include a welcome reception hosted by the University’s president, a Beach Bash at the Strom Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center, 5K Run/Walk and a traditional pre-game tailgate party before the football game.

Information about registering for Parents Weekend is mailed to parents of current, full-time undergraduate students early in the summer. In addition, information will be posted on our website and distributed to members of the Parents Association via e-mail.

We encourage parents to make hotel reservations as soon as possible, as rooms fill up quickly for fall home football game weekends.

During your visit, take advantage of some of the attractions that Columbia has to offer.  Schedule time to visit the South Carolina State House, the State Museum, the Columbia Museum of Art or the Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden.  You will also want to visit Five Points and the Vista for great restaurants and shopping.

Gamecock Family Roost

The Gamecock Family Roost will take place during Panhellenic Move-In Day and Move-In Day in August. In addition to campus maps, water, sodas and the very popular misting fan, families have the opportunity to speak with staff from the Department of Student Life to learn more about the programs and services available to their students. Stay tuned to our social media sites for announcements and reminders.


Summer is an exciting time for both new students and new parents! Orientation is a great time to become more familiar with the university and the Columbia area, meet staff, students and other parents, and most importantly, ask questions!

In an effort to meet parents of first-year students, the Office of Parent & Family Programs is represented at each session of summer orientation. Parents are encouraged to talk with us about our services and sign-up for the dues-free Parents Association. Make sure to pick up your copy of the Parents Calendar and Handbook to use as a reference throughout the year.