Expanded Family Weekend celebrates all things Loyola


The entire Putis family—Julie (from left), Pat, Edward, and Jennifer—will be at Loyola for Family Weekend. 

When it came time for her daughters to decide where they wanted to go to college, Pat Putis never put any pressure on them to attend Loyola. But deep down, she hoped they would pick her alma mater.

“I had a great college experience,” said Putis, whose husband, Edward, also graduated from Loyola. “But I don’t want my children to live vicariously through me. I want them to live their own lives and have their own experiences.”

The Loyola gene clearly was passed down, however, because both of the Putis daughters now attend the University. Jennifer is a junior majoring in public relations, and Julie is a freshman studying finance and international business.

Their mother couldn’t be any happier.

“I am so proud of them and the decision they made to come to Loyola,” Putis said. “I have a special place in my heart for Loyola, and now that my two daughters are there, I’m even more connected.”

That connection will continue when the entire Putis family comes to campus Friday through Sunday for Family Weekend, a three-day event that gives parents and siblings a chance to see the University up close and experience life at Loyola.

In the past, Loyola hosted Parents Weekend, which was small and catered only to the parents of first-year students. After reaching out to families—and getting feedback from them—Loyola reimagined the concept to create its new Family Weekend. Now, families and friends of all students can come celebrate the Loyola Experience. And that should make for a record turnout.

“We’re expecting about 2,000 people to attend,” said Robert Kelly, PhD, vice president for Student Development. “When it was just for the families of first-year students, we would get about 600, maybe 700 people.”

Loyola has planned dozens of events for the weekend—from a screening of “Monsters University” for younger siblings to parent and family workshops on how families can navigate the transition to college. There’s even a football game scheduled.

“Some alums really wanted to bring back club football to Loyola, and they’ve been working with student leaders and campus recreation to make that happen,” Kelly said.  “So we’re going to close the weekend with a football game Sunday night in Evanston.”

And what does Kelly want families to take away from the weekend?

“Parents are going to be immersed in everything Loyola, just like their sons and daughters are every day,” Kelly said. “It’s a weekend where they can see why we’re so proud of the University and why they should be as well.”