On Oct. 12-14, Westminster welcomed parents and families to campus for a full weekend of activities, including opportunities to attend teacher conferences, athletic contests, student performances and special programming. On Saturday, the afternoon capped off with a special harvest dinner in Armstrong Dining Hall followed by music, s’mores and a fire pit on the newly renovated Keyes Patio.
Although teacher conferences are the primary purpose of the weekend, parents enjoyed some quality time with their children. For Eli and Lisa Emerson who visited their daughter, Liv ’24, it was a special day since Liv is finishing her final year at Westminster. It would be the last time they would visit campus on a fall parents weekend, “and this gorgeous weather made it even better,” said Lisa Emerson.
Richard DiBeneditto and Stephanie Fondu, parents of Brody DiBeneditto ’26, were thrilled to see how their son had progressed since last year. “His first year was a new experience for us as parents and for Brody. It was a huge steppingstone,” Fondu said. Returning to campus for fall weekend this year, “we can see how much more he feels at home now and how his confidence has grown. And as parents that is nice to see,” she added.
Those thoughts were echoed by Head of School Elaine White and by parents committee co-chairs Julie and Ben Wurts P’22, ’24 in their addresses Friday afternoon in Werner Centennial Center. White emphasized to parents: “Your children are wonderful works in progress and this weekend gives us an opportunity to work together in support of that process.” The Wurts urged new parents to become more involved with the school and fully engage in their child’s Westminster experience. Modeling this year’s theme of engagement, the committee’s work has been a labor of love that benefits all students, they said. “Parent feedback made a difference in rolling out a revitalized and reshaped parents committee,” Julie Wurts added.
On Friday afternoon, special parent social gatherings were held for each form, including the Sixth Form Keyes Patio Dedication. White thanked the families for their support in making the Keyes renovation a reality. She pointed out that the patio is a gift for the entire school; it is a gathering and meeting area to enjoy each other’s company in the Martlet spirit of community building. Lisa Rocchio P’24, who chaired the Class of 2024 Gift Committee, said that the committee envisioned the patio as an “inclusive space and a place students want to gather, share meals, collaborate on schoolwork or just hang out. And from what I’ve heard this weekend, in these few short months, it has become all of this and more!”
Elizabeth Pruellage ’24, student activity co-leader, commented that aside from a place to gather together the patio also serves as a place of quiet during a busy day.
During the weekend, all parents and families had a chance to enjoy the campus and Keyes Patio with its view of Pratt House, Andrews Memorial Chapel and Armour Academic Center. Adrienne Owen P’24 remarked that although many beautiful spaces exist on campus, Keyes Patio offers a breathtaking view of the entire valley and the hills beyond.