Fuqua Family Weekend gives families an opportunity to feel more connected to students and the school by providing a glimpse into student life. Family members are encouraged to ask questions to better understand Fuqua’s culture and what it means to be a part of Team Fuqua. What makes Fuqua Family Weekend even more special is the way it has evolved from a simple student idea into a full-fledged, highly coordinated event.
This year, the weekend included a speech by Dean Blair Sheppard, light-hearted mock classes taught by two phenomenal and entertaining professors, a catered lunch in the Kirby Winter Garden, and student-led tours. MBAA Student Life Executive Officer, Neeti Ardeshna, meticulously planned the event, which has become a valued Fuqua tradition.
Kicking off on October 8, family members were invited to campus to partake in Fuqua Friday, a weekly social event with food, drinks, and music. A shared sigh of relief about the week’s end is often heard from students, faculty, and staff at Fuqua Fridays. The relaxing atmosphere encouraged students as well as their parents, partners, children, and other loved ones to unwind and prepare for the rest of the weekend.
On Saturday morning, Dean Sheppard shared some aspects that make Fuqua so unique. A distinctive difference, for example, between Fuqua and other top business schools, is that Fuqua students help each other to succeed. Rather than compete against one another for grades, internships, and full-time jobs, students choose to focus their efforts on competing against students from other schools. Dean Sheppard also addressed the school’s global expansion, and the fact that Fuqua continually works to break cultural barriers within the student body.
Following the Dean’s speech, mock lectures provided an opportunity for families to intermingle with faculty and students. Professors Debu Purohit and Shane Dikolli led thought-provoking discussions on marketing and innovation at Berkshire Toys, giving family members a feel for what it’s like to participate in a lecture in a state-of-the-art Fuqua classroom.
The consensus among family members regarding the weekend was clear—they enjoyed the experience and got to know Fuqua and student life much better:
“This was my first opportunity to visit Duke and The Fuqua School of Business. Listening to the students and the business school Dean regarding the student ownership of the program, I came away very impressed. Having been educated in a university system that was many times larger than the entire Duke campus, the sense of belonging, student interaction, and team building as core elements in an academic program was new to me. As Fuqua expands internationally, it is readily apparent that this process of developing a student culture is successful and is being recognized for its value.”
– Fuqua Parent Robert Holan
“The atmosphere of Fuqua Family Weekend was one of the friendliest and fulfilling experiences I’ve had at any university gathering for family members. The mock classroom visit was especially informative and an insight into the teaching methods used by most professors. I love how the “team” environment lends itself to the “student helping fellow students” philosophy expressed by the Dean during his address in order to provide a real learning experience in such a highly competitive group of individuals. Thanks to everyone who took part in making this weekend wonderful!”
– Anonymous Fuqua Parent