Bringing Familiarity into New Places: COM Family and Friends Weekend Reception

The COMmunicator accompanied COM students and their families, along with COM staff, for an evening of socializing, snacking and networking.

On Friday, October 18, COM students, families, friends, staff and faculty gathered in COM room 209 to kick off BU’s annual parents’ weekend. High spirits and eager chatter filled the room as succulent hors d’oeuvres and refreshing cocktails filled the palettes of attendees. The room was a-buzz with all things COM.

“It’s an opportunity for family and friends of current students to come in and have a chance to come and socialize with faculty, staff and students,” said Erik Prokter, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Affairs. “We see a lot of first-year students have family come in. It is the first chance they have to see them in this school year. ”

Many students flanked by their families, mingled with their similarly surrounded classmates. Conversations ranged from exchanging personal information about students’ home towns and where they live on campus, to information about the COM school and what they hope to achieve. Parents were especially enthusiastic to meet COM’s new dean, Mariette DiChristina.

“One of the lovely things about the word ‘communication’ and the ‘School of Communication’ is the COM part of it and the community,” said DiChristina. “This event is about getting our communities together and having a little bit of fun.”

It was especially exciting for freshmen to share their new COM community with their parents. 

“I’m very impressed. Everyone has been really welcoming, and it’s well-organized,” said Karin Chin, whose daughter Karin is a film and TV student. “I love that I get to spend time with my daughter. She gets to show me all the things she’s excited about when she calls home. For me to actually be engaged and see it, it helps me visualize what she talks about.” 

Even upperclassmen whose parents are more familiar with the program brought their families to reconvene with the COM program. 

“My mom is an alumni, and she was an advertising major. So she knows COM pretty well,” Lindsey Rosenblatt, COM Ambassador and AdLab Associate Director, said. “I always like to show her the new things COM has added, like the Zimmerman lounge or whatever student work is up right now.” 

One family came by to learn about the courses and the different internships and jobs that COM students have participated in. As much as the faculty offered advice to new and potential COM students, experienced students helped answer any questions about the program as well. 

“I love the COM school,” Rosenblatt told a father intrigued by the COM program. “It’s the best BU has to offer. It’s opened me up to so many new opportunities that I never thought I would have. I’ve learned so much about advertising, so it’s a great jump start for my career.”

The format of the reception differed from years past. “We used to do department presentations after the reception,” Proctor explained. “They would be split up— journalism, mass com, and television. They were not really well attended, so we ditched that this year, and we just extended the social aspect. We had 180 RSVPs this year.”

This new approach was met with enthusiasm; the COM community expanded, bonded, and left with full stomachs. 

“I love the people,” DiChristina said. “I feel like it’s a very warm, generous, brilliant and passionate group of people. That’s true about all the students, parents and faculty I’ve met.”

Amanda Hirsch, Staff Writer

Amanda Hirsch is a senior at Boston University in the College of Communication majoring in mass communication. As a native of Needham, MA, she is a die hard Boston sports fan. When not watching a Red Sox or Patriots game, Amanda is likely to be spinning at SoulCycle or eating ice cream at JP Licks.

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