History of Family Weekend
This cherished A&M tradition has been previously designated Mother's Day, Mother and Dad's Day, Parent Appreciation, Open House, Parents' Weekend, and is presently called Family Weekend. Though the name and the events of the weekend have adapted throughout the years, the sentiment it represents remains the same.
Under the supervision of New Student & Family Programs, Family Weekend is planned and coordinated by the Aggie Parent & 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.
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, and Family Weekend originated as a recognition of the holiday on campus. When the university moved graduation ceremonies to early May in 1971, the weekend of events for parents and families was moved to April as a result, where it has remained.
Honoring Parents of the Year has been a big part of Family Weekend festivities. 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.
Corps flower pinning, military reviews, chapel services, campus tours and outfit award presentations have been staples of the weekend since early on. 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.
The Maroon and White football game is another Family Weekend staple. While it is now a much-anticipated 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, has involved intramural student athletes, former varsity players, including Heisman winner John David Crow, and current Aggie players and coaches.
Family Weekend Through the Years
Tradition begins as recognition of Mother's Day
Texas A&M plans first official Mother and Dad's Day (also called Parents' Day)
Name becomes Mother's Day
Name becomes Open House and Parents' Day
Open House and Parents' Day events televised
First Mother of the Year recognized
Name becomes Parent's Day
First Parents of the Year recognized after award changed from Mother of the Year
Name becomes Parent's Day Weekend
Name becomes Parents' Weekend and is held during Muster weekend for at least the next three years
First alumni band appearance at Parents' Weekend
First Bevo Burn barbecue competition
First Yell Practice during Parents' Weekend
First Student/Parent Golf Tournament
Name becomes Family Weekend
Texas A&M Celebrates 100th anniversary of a weekend dedicated to celebrating Aggie Families