Mild, dry conditions and an intense football rivalry will help boost the schedule of activities during Ferris State University’s second annual Bulldog Family and Friends weekend, Friday, Oct. 20 through Sunday, Oct. 22.
Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services Activities Coordinator Nick Smith said there are over 1,200 students registered for the slate of events, which begins with check-in beginning at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20 in the University Center.
“We are happy that students are responding to all what we are offering,” Smith said. “By checking in, they will be able to pick up their tickets, Bulldog Family and Friends weekend gear, and a packet of event information. Then, the opportunities abound for spending time with their friends, and family members, learning about our campus and the Big Rapids community. The University Recreation Center will have its pool, and the climbing wall open from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, and those facilities will be available from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21.”
A “Meet Your Dean” event will be held in the UC from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., with the Bulldog Family and Friends Movie Night beginning at 8 p.m. “Despicable Me 3” will be shown in the Ballroom, and that activity will continue to 11 p.m.
“Downtown Big Rapids is dressed up for fall, and there are a variety of unique stores, restaurants and other opportunities to explore,” Smith said. “We will have a shuttle bus available beginning at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 21, so students and their families and friends can get from campus to that district, and enjoy themselves. Those with Bulldog Friends and Family weekend bracelets will find a variety of discounts, and free items to enjoy during this time.”
Those who registered for the Bulldog Family and Friends weekend, and did not check in on Friday are encouraged to do so, in the University Center between 9 and 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21. Registration to participate in the schedule of events has closed.
Tailgating will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, and those who have registered for the Bulldog Family and Friends tailgate party will be welcomed in the north end of the Top Taggart Field mezzanine, immediately north of the Wheeler Pavilion and western football stands. That event is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., when Ferris and Grand Valley will play for the Anchor-Bone trophy, and a top spot in the Midwest Intercollegiate Football Conference.
The Bulldog Family and Friends weekend bracelet is the ticket needed to attend an exhibition men’s basketball game, as Ferris hosts Aquinas in an exhibition starting at 6 p.m. in Wink Arena. Students will also be admitted with their valid university ID.
“Our final event Saturday, Oct. 21 is a Casino Night, which will be in the University Center,” Smith said. “That event is sponsored by Entertainment Unlimited, and we hope that our Bulldog Family and Friends will join us, at any time between 8 p.m. and 12 a.m.”
On Sunday, Oct. 22, students and all other interested participants are invited to participate in the Color Run to support the Mecosta-Osceola United Way campaign.
“We invite everyone to run, or walk the 5-kilometer course, which steps off from the North Quad at 8 a.m.,” Smith said. “Participants are encouraged to offer a donation to support this important local charity.”
Eric Simone, the director of Orientation Marketing and Events for the university’s Admissions office said organizers are pleased by the level of interest for a brunch, which is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, to be held in the UC Ballroom.
“Jeanine Ward-Roof and her staff have taken this opportunity to offer a meal, and the chance to learn more about the university,” Simone said. “Leadership from across campus will be taking part, and answering questions as part of the event.”
All those with Bulldog Family and Friends weekend bracelets will also be welcomed free of charge to a Ferris State women’s tennis match with Saginaw Valley State, which will begin at 10 a.m. Sunday, at the Racquet and Fitness Center on Northland Drive.
“We are thankful that our university partners, and so many Big Rapids businesses are collaborating with us on Bulldog Family and Friends weekend,” Smith said. “We hope everyone has a great time around campus, and in the community.”