Charge Pride in Full Screen on College Family Day



The Charger families visited their students as part of Family Day, the largest one-day event the University has hosted on campus since the start of the pandemic. It allowed students and their families to safely reconnect while exploring all the University has to offer.

October 5, 2021

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Family Day brought together over 1,500 students and their families.

Although Akinbusola Akinwunmi ’25 spent time away from home before starting his first semester at college last month, he had never been away from home for so long. This is why he was especially happy that his family visited him on campus as part of the University’s Family Day.

“It’s good to have them here,” said Akinwunmi, a cybersecurity and networking specialist. “I was looking forward to Family Day. I was especially excited to watch the football game with them.

The football game – in which the Chargers defeated their rival Crosstown Southern Connecticut State University 38-9, winning the coveted Elm City Trophy for the 11th game in a row – was one of the many fun activities Akinwunmi enjoyed with her family. Her parents and siblings visited the university from their New Jersey home.

“We are a united family,” said Akinola Akinwunmi, Akinbusola’s father. “We all missed him. We were all eager to reconnect with him on Family Day. ”

Akinbusola Akinwunmi and her family on Family Day.
Akinbusola Akinwunmi ’25 (right) and her family on Family Day.
“It’s nice to be at Family Day”

The Akinwunmi family was one of the many who visited the university for a fun and relaxing day on campus. The event, the largest the University has organized on campus since the start of the pandemic, brought together more than 1,500 students and their families. The University had security measures in place to protect everyone, including requiring family members to present full proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID test before arriving on campus. Students and their families wore face coverings indoors to ensure everyone’s safety during various events.

Cassandra Stevens ’24, a major in criminal justice, said she can’t wait to take her mother, Carol, to the University’s crime scene training house, where families have toured and have learned what it takes to deal with a crime scene.

“It’s nice to be at Family Day and to be surrounded by more people,” said Cassandra. “It seems more normal.”

“Last year, because of COVID, we couldn’t enjoy Family Day,” Carol added. “I’m happy that we can do what we couldn’t do last year. ”

Charlie the Loader with a visiting family on Family Day.
Families visiting the University explored the campus and met Charlie.
“I like the campus”

Erica Gardner, associate director of the Center for Student Engagement, Leadership, and Orientation (CSELO), said the goal was for families to have a “full campus experience.” She says Family Day was a wonderful way for families to see the campus, discover all the University has to offer students, and meet faculty and staff, as well as fellow students. class and their students’ families.

“It’s important for me to make sure families feel connected to our campus,” she said. “We understand that the transition to college can be difficult, and we want to provide opportunities for students and families to maintain these connections. My favorite part of Family Day is when students come to me to introduce me to their families. It reassures me that I am having a positive impact on our students and on our campus.

Image of families playing corn hole.
Families enjoyed lawn games together on Family Day.

Many of the day’s activities took place outdoors, including lawn games, interactive inflatables, and cartoon artists. Families also made their own stuffed animals, including miniature New Haven University t-shirts, and had their picture taken with Charlie.

Kathleen Trakimas came from Bridgewater, New Jersey to spend the day with her daughter, Stephanie Seymour ’22. She, too, was eager to visit the college crime scene house.

“I love the campus,” Trakimas said. “The students are so positive and so happy. It’s a beautiful day at the University.

“I couldn’t wait to see Stephanie’s favorite places on campus,” added her sister Caroline Seymour, who attended Family Day with Trakimas.

Faith Arcuri with her mom Mary on Family Day.
Faith Arcuri ’25 spent time with her mother Mary on Family Day.
“It’s nice to be together”

The event allowed Charger families to explore the campus, including touring university residences and touring university admissions and the Myatt Center for Diversity and Inclusion. Families learned to dance salsa, decorated cupcakes together, and tested their puzzle-solving skills in an escape room.

For many families, like the Arcuri family of Naugatuck, Connecticut, Family Day has been a wonderful opportunity to spend time together while sharing their Charger Pride.

“I wanted to visit the campus to check out the atmosphere,” said Mary Arcuri, who attended Family Day with her daughter Faith Arcuri ’25, a communications major. “It’s so nice to be able to do that. I love the campus.

“It was a lot of fun,” Faith added. “We don’t always spend a lot of time together, and it’s nice to be together.”

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