Family Weekend History
A Brief History of Family Weekend
Christine Self, 2015
The roots of Family Weekend at Texas Tech trace all the way back to 1936, when Texas Technological College hosted its first Parents Day. Texas Tech President Bradford Knapp (president 1932-1938) and the Texas Tech Student Council established the event to show off the institution and help parents become acquainted with the college:
We are proud of the work the College is doing; proud of its student body; of its faculty; of its graduates; and its fine democratic spirit. We would like to have you become better acquainted with all these factors in this great institution. (Letter from President Bradford Knapp to parents of Texas Tech students, 1936. Texas Tech University Southwest Collection University Archive)
Activities at Texas Tech's first Parents Day were detailed in Texas Tech's student newspaper, The Toreador. "College officials are anxious to make this event a traditional annual affair," so the college provided a pep rally and other activities prior to the weekend:
A gigantic pep rally will be staged at Matador stadium at 7 o'clock Thursday night. This will be followed by a "tug-o-war" between members of the freshman and sophomore classes with the winner privileged to catch a greased pig, the money levied from its sale being placed in the class treasury. (See the full 1936 Toreador article – page 1)
The first Parents Day culminated in the football game between Texas Technological College and Oklahoma A&M College on November 6, 1936. Texas Tech won the game 12-0 (See the Toreador Article – page 4) (View the football program, Texas Tech University Southwest Collections University Archive.)
In 1954, Parents Day became Dads Day. The Association of Women Students (AWS) sponsored Dads Day, which included a football game where "dads and families of the girls will sit together in Section L." The Association of Women Students expected 500 dads to attend (See the full 1954 Toreador article – page 3). When the Texas Tech Dads Association was founded, it was during Dads Day in 1956: "Dad's Day Saturday was climaxed by presentation of three special awards and the formation of a Texas Tech Dads Club" (See the full 1956 Toreador article – page 1).
The first mention of "Family Weekend" in the Texas Tech student newspaper was in 1989, the same year that the Texas Tech Dads Association changed its name to the Texas Tech Dads and Moms Association:
The Dads and Moms Association will present Texas Tech's family weekend today and Saturday. The annual event will offer families the opportunity to experience student life and to meet faculty and administrators during two days of activities. (See the full 1989 University Daily article – page 1).
Family Weekend today is a collaboration between Parent & Family Relations, the Texas Tech Parents Association, and Texas Tech University Athletics. It is a proud 80-year-old tradition at Texas Tech University and continues to provide an opportunity for parents and family members of our students to become more acquainted with the institution, spend time with their students, and enjoy the pageantry and excitement of Red Raider football.