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Families welcomed to spend day with students at UNG

University of North Georgia will host its annual Family Day on Saturday, Oct. 6. Students from all UNG campuses are invited to the activities on the Dahlonega Campus.

For the first few weeks at the University of North Georgia (UNG), first-time freshmen are busy finding their classes, creating a niche for themselves on campus and getting accustomed to college life.

UNG faculty and staff assist with that by encouraging students to get involved. For those living on UNG’s Dahlonega Campus, students are encouraged to stay during the weekend to become accustomed to their new atmosphere and develop a routine.

"Students who get involved and connect with peers and the institution as a whole are much more likely to graduate," said Darcy Hayes, director of orientation and transition programs at UNG.

But six to seven weeks later, Hayes said students need a reminder of home. Therefore, UNG hosts its annual Family Day, with this year's event on Saturday, Oct. 6. And students from all UNG campuses are invited to the activities on the Dahlonega Campus.

"The idea of the event is to offer an opportunity for students and parents to reconnect and spend time together," she said. "And parents can learn about their student's day-to-day life on campus."

UNG offers several events for families and students that range from watching a show inside the planetarium in the Health and Natural Sciences building to testing their athletic prowess on the climbing wall in the Recreation Center.

"The shooting range in the Military Leadership Center is always popular," Hayes said, explaining it has a line of people during the four hours it is open. "I think it gives students who are here at the Military College of Georgia a chance to see a little bit of the military aspect."

Family Day's two signature events are the kickoff and pinning ceremony and the UNG choir concert. The kickoff ceremony is at 10 a.m. in Memorial Gym. Hayes explained the pinning ceremony is specifically designed for all first-year students, freshmen and transfer students.

"The student receives an entering-year pin," Hayes said. "The student picks someone who they deem as a leader in their life to pin it on them."

Anna Caitlyn Anderson, a sophomore majoring in political science with a concentration in prelaw, had her dad pin her.

"My dad is a UNG alum and he was in the Corps," the 19-year-old Gainesville native said. "It was fun to have that experience with him."

Hayes said she is looking forward to the newest addition of the concert. It will feature the Patriot Choir, Le Belle Voci and UNG's Men's Quartet at 2 p.m. in the Gloria Shott Performance Hall in the John L. Nix Mountain Cultural Center.

"We have fun activities and some that focus on relaxing now that the stress of moving in and enrollment is over," she said, noting there will be a relaxation station inside Hoag Student Center.

Parents and students also can get into the school spirit by cheering on the women's soccer team. The Nighthawks will take on Lander University at 1 p.m. at the UNG Soccer Complex.

Anderson said she enjoyed the whole day last year with her parents.

"It was cool to show my parents around the campus and tell them what I was doing," she said. "And my dad was able to tell me some of his stories, about classes he had taken and things he did. Honestly, the entire day was fun."

Hayes said this activity and others help students and parents begin to redefine their roles.

"They are beginning to transition from parent-to-child to adult-to-adult relationships," she said. "We like to refer to them as coaches. They are helping coach the students through life instead of directly and hands-on."

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