Friends and Family Weekend 2017: Successful through the storms


by Cassidy Riendau

Beginning Friday, October 21, Bryant University Student Senate put on an incredible weekend for the Bryant community and their friends and family. An extensive amount of effort and work went into this one fun-filled weekend. Idea generation and production began all the way back in the summer prior to this academic year. After attending this event, it was evident that all their hard work paid off.

Friday night started off with a bang, as we welcomed an Americas Got Talent finalist, a one man show, Nick Pike to our campus! We sat 300 people in our dining hall to find that Mr. Pike was certainly deserving of his fame. With the combination of jokes, juggling, and even a unicycle ride, the student senate started out the weekend right.

Saturday morning the excitement continued with a “Wild About You” themed lunch following registration, set up at the Bulldog stadium for all to enjoy. The safari theme was a conversation piece after our guests witnessed the jungle décor and African style buffet presented at lunch time. Student Senate also hosted an Africa Drumming Circle which took part three times throughout Saturday afternoon. The goal of this event was for our guests to experience the African culture through music and the “enrichment of their mind, body, and spirit” as they gained perspective of the culture.

After supporting other events throughout the day such as the annual duck race for the class of 2017, the Bryant Players production, and the Bryant University football game, the big event everyone was waiting for began to fall into place!

The student senators began their hard work on decorating the MAC to look like an African jungle to await the big act of the night- Jack Hanna!

After a delicious African style cuisine dinner, Jack Hanna and the animal ambassadors from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, put on a presentation of a lifetime. Jack Hanna’s enthusiastic hands-on approach to wildlife conservation has won him widespread acclaim as a conservationist, TV personality, author and Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo. Recognized as Americas favorite zookeeper, Jack has made countless TV appearances on shows such as “Good Morning America”, “The Late Night Show with David Letterman”, “The Late Night Show with James Corden”, Fox News programs, and CNN News programs. This act was unlike any other. Jack presented the Bryant community with live animals onstage including a kangaroo, sloth, penguin, all the way up to a full grown cheetah!

Jack Hanna was a complete and utter triumph for the Bryant Student Senate who put on this marvelous event for about 450 people!

Closing out the weekend with a brunch in Bello, the senators felt a wave of relief in the wrap up of the busy, fun-filled weekend!

This weekend would not have been possible without all of the student senators, Lisa Morris, Judy Kawamoto, and all the other clubs, orgs, and administration that lent a helping hand for Friends and Family Weekend 2016.