Former Defense Department General Counsel Appointed Harvard’s Top Lawyer


Democracy Center Protesters Stage ‘Emergency Rally’ with Pro-Palestine Activists Amid Occupation


Harvard Violated Contract With HGSU in Excluding Some Grad Students, Arbitrator Rules


House Committee on China to Probe Harvard’s Handling of Anti-CCP Protest at HKS


Harvard Republican Club Endorses Donald Trump in 2024 Presidential Election

Harvard Welcomes Families of Juniors and Freshmen to Campus During ‘Beautiful’ Weekend

Harvard College hosted a welcome event for families of juniors and freshmen in Sanders Theatre in Memorial Hall.
Harvard College hosted a welcome event for families of juniors and freshmen in Sanders Theatre in Memorial Hall. By Truong L. Nguyen
By John N. Peña, Crimson Staff Writer

Families of Harvard College juniors and freshmen spent the weekend in Cambridge to celebrate a Family Weekend marked by uncharacteristically warm weather and Halloweekend festivities.

Nearly 5,000 family members participated in the four-day slate of activities hosted by the Dean of Students Office, according to Harvard spokesperson Jonathan Palumbo. The events included open houses, “haunted historical” tours of campus led by the Crimson Key Society, and lectures delivered by faculty members.

Typically, Harvard hosts separate visiting weekends for the families of juniors and freshmen, but the DSO moved to hold joint festivities for the first time this year.

Though Ana Costa missed the haunted historical tour, she said her main focus was learning about the day-to-day life on campus of her daughter, Isabella Gidi ’27. Throughout the weekend, Costa shadowed Gidi, visiting her freshman dorm, choir rehearsal, and a showing of the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club’s “White House Princess.”

“I’m much more interested in knowing her daily routine and following her around and checking on what she does on her time than following the Harvard activities, because I’m here for her,” Costa said.

Costa, visiting from Texas, added that the weather in Cambridge for Family Weekend was a nice touch during her stay.

“We have no seasons in Houston. So for me yesterday when we [were] walking around, it was just seeing yellow trees, red trees — beautiful,” she said.

Some visitors took advantage of the warm weekend by spending time outside in Cambridge, with a group of parents organizing a cruise along the Charles River, according to Biao Hao, who was visiting his daughter Caroline A. Hao ’25.

“Always good to come here,” he said.

Eva Gao said she FaceTimes her sister Ellie Gao ’25 “a lot,” but she added that it was “good to see her and able to take her out, give her a treat, take a break from campus life.”

“We enjoyed being able to see where she’s living,” she added. “Sometimes we’ll see glimpses of it but actually being here immersed in the environment, walking the halls and down all the streets that she does — it’s very nice.”

A die-in jointly staged by the Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee and Harvard Graduate Students 4 Palestine outside of Memorial Hall on Friday temporarily disrupted the weekend activities. The students criticized Harvard’s response to the Israel-Hamas conflict and the ongoing doxxing of students allegedly affiliated with a statement penned by the PSC.

Protesters also interrupted remarks delivered by University President Claudine Gay in Sanders Theatre as part of their demonstration.

Palumbo, the Harvard spokesperson, declined to comment on the protest.

"We are grateful for the Orientation and Family Engagement Team, along with the Family Weekend Planning Committee, who put so much effort into planning and running a successful weekend of 57 unique events that incorporated many aspects of student life and brought together 51 different co-sponsoring departments and student organizations,” Palumbo wrote in an emailed statement.

Monica Yasuda — who was visiting her son, Maverick H. Yasuda ’27 — said the most interesting part of the weekend was witnessing interruptions by demonstrators during Gay’s welcome remarks.

“There were multiple outbursts during that welcome address that the president was making. But she was very well composed, and it was handled very well,” she said.

For Marty Geller, the weekend was an opportunity to spend “quality time” with his daughter, Marin Geller ’27.

“I just feel so blessed, so privileged to have a child going to this incredible institution,” he said. “I’m really enjoying the weekend over here.”

—Staff writer John N. Peña can be reached at Follow him on X @john_pena7.

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

CollegeStudent LifeCollege LifeFront Middle FeatureFeatured Articles