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Ithaca College Slates Family Weekend Activities

Ithaca College students will get to host a campus visit from their parents, siblings and other loved ones during Family Weekend, Oct. 27–29. In addition to presentations by college faculty, administrators and special guests, the weekend will feature opportunities for family members to learn more about and participate in some of the college’s special projects.Delivering the parent keynote address will be Emmy Award–winning soap opera actor Jerry verDorn, the parent of a current Ithaca College junior and a 2006 graduate. VerDorn was performing in Shaw’s “Man and Superman” on Broadway in 1979 when he caught the eye of a casting agent, who signed him for a role on CBS’s “Guiding Light.” He won two Daytime Emmy Awards and was nominated an additional four times over the next 26 years for portraying the character of attorney Ross Marler. In 2005 verDorn moved to ABC’s “One Life to Live” in the role of Clint Buchanan.The faculty keynote address—“A Quest for a Sustainable World: What We Know, What We Can Do”—will be delivered by assistant professor of biology Jason Hamilton. An eco-physiologist and global change biologist, Hamilton studies the effects on ecosystem functions of elevated carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.The Habitat for Humanity clubs at both Ithaca College and Cornell University have raised money to build a “house-in-a-box,” which will be transported to an area affected by Hurricane Katrina. Ithaca College students will be assembling wall panels for the house during Family Weekend, and family members have been asked to bring new or gently used tools that will be collected and sent along with the assembled walls, trusses, and building materials.Family members have been invited to join a lively, faculty-facilitated discussion of this year’s choice for the Ithaca College summer reading initiative, “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel. The story of a boy who finds himself stranded in a lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with only a menacing 450-pound Bengal tiger for company, “Life of Pi” combines grand story-telling with a profound exploration of ageless themes: faith and truth, fact and fiction, man versus nature, and innocence and experience.Each academic school will be hosting an open house where family members can meet the deans and faculty as well as observe a variety of student demonstrations. Members of the Park Scholar and MLK Scholar Programs; the Offices of Intercollegiate Athletics, International Programs, and Career Services; and the communications program in Los Angeles will also host open houses or presentations where family members can learn more about the opportunities offered to students.Entertainment is also an important component of Family Weekend. The School of Music will offer several concerts highlighting different ensembles, while the Student Performance Showcase will feature the talents of such student groups as Ithacapella, Unbound Dance Company, ICircus, Dance Team, Hip Hop Dance, and Soleful Soundz Step.For a complete schedule of Family Weekend activities, visit www.ithaca.edu/familyweekend.

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