June 10, 2023

Pris Sullivan: Please, no rain

Arranged in rows, long linen-covered tables will stretch across the green expanse of Ball Circle for Family Weekend. Industrial-style grills will welcome folks from all over the country to indulge in cookout favorites. Clipboard in hand, Event Coordinator Priscilla Sullivan will consult the checklist: immense expenses, endless meetings, parking, reservations … and reservations … and more reservations. Once the water stations are in place and the funnel cake aroma can be detected a mile away, you might spot Sullivan in her prayer pose begging for clear skies. After all this, she’ll sit back with the rest of the Family Weekend planning committee to watch the events commence.

Q: What is it like planning Family Weekend?

Event planners treat each event like a wedding. You have to prepare for everything. This year we added comedy troupe Capitol Steps to get some laughs. There’s always a lot of meeting with the Family Weekend Committee to reserve locations.

Q: What do you do if there’s a chance for rain?

You fall to your knees and begin promising God all kinds of things to keep the rain away.

Q: Has anything ever happened that made you just want to drop your clipboard and run?

No matter what kind of event, there’s always pressure; we just fake it until we fix it. The worst thing that can happen is RAIN.

Q: What do you like most about Family Weekend?

The best part is seeing all the proud parents – well, depending on the student’s current GPA – and their friends enjoying each other’s company on campus, playing games and picnicking.

Q: What other events do you plan at UMW?

Anything else that springs up for the Events Office to handle, like graduate and undergraduate commencement, holiday events and ribbon-cutting ceremonies.