Family Weekend is a special time dedicated to Aggie parents and family members and gives students an opportunity to express their gratitude to those who have impacted their lives. While the event has held several different names over the past century – Mother’s Day, Open House and Parents’ Weekend to name a few – the sentiment it represents remains the same.
The tradition began in 1919 shortly after the end of World War I. Membership in the Corps of Cadets was mandatory, and mothers often found themselves worrying about the welfare of their sons. President Woodrow Wilson had recently issued an official proclamation establishing a national Mother’s Day holiday, and Family Weekend originated as a recognition of the holiday on campus. Corps flower pinning, military reviews, chapel services, campus tours and outfit award presentations have been staples of the weekend since early on. When the university moved graduation ceremonies to early May in 1971, Parents’ Weekend was moved to April as a result, where it has remained.
In 1956, the first Mother of the Year Maria V. Reyes was selected and honored in conjunction with Mother’s Day weekend. The selection of a Mother of the Year continued annually until 1974 when the award was changed to Parents of the Year to allow additional deserving family members to be honored. This tradition continues today with Parents of the Year beginning their one-year tenure during Family Weekend festivities.
This cherished A&M tradition has been previously designated Mother’s Day, Mother and Dad’s Day, Parent Appreciation, Open House, and Parents’ Weekend. Presently, it is called Family Weekend (see our name change announcement tab).
After 1965, when membership in the Corps became voluntary, new activities were continually added over the years to include a wider variety of students. Some of these new activities included the Bevo Burn Barbecue competition, Memorial Student Center (MSC) Variety Show, and Residential Housing Association (RHA) Casino.
While the Maroon and White football game is now a much anticipated Family Weekend event, the game first appeared on the schedule only as recently as 1982. This exhibition game began as a charity event in 1941 and, over the decades, involved intramural student athletes, former varsity players, including Heisman winner John David Crow, and current Aggie players and coaches.
Under the supervision of New Student & Family Programs, Family Weekend is planned and coordinated by the Aggie Family Ambassadors student organization. This special time is dedicated to Aggie parents and family, and gives Aggie students a chance to express their gratitude to those who have impacted their lives.
Family Weekend Timeline
1919 – Tradition begins as recognition of Mother’s Day
1925 – Texas A&M plans first official Mother and Dad’s Day (also called Parents’ Day)
1927 – Name becomes Mother’s Day
1951 – Name becomes Open House and Parents’ Day
1953 – Open House and Parents’ Day events televised
1956 – First Mother of the Year recognized
1960 – Name becomes Parent’s Day
1974 – First Parents of the Year recognized after award changed from Mother of the Year
1979 – Name becomes Parent’s Day Weekend
1980 – Name becomes Parents’ Weekend and is held during Muster weekend for at least the next three years
1983 – First alumni band appearance at Parents’ Weekend
1988 – First Bevo Burn barbecue competition
1989 – First Yell Practice during Parents’ Weekend
1992 – First Student/Parent Golf Tournament
2017 – Name becomes Family Weekend
2019 – Texas A&M Celebrates 100th anniversary of a weekend dedicated to celebrating Aggie Families