Parents and siblings of West Virginia University students interested in learning more about the WVU experience are encouraged to participate in the Mountaineer Parents Clubs annual Winter Weekend festivities Feb. 29-March 1.

Families are invited to visit the campus to hear about the academic programs, cultural opportunities and athletic events available to their studentsand take in some learning and fun themselves. Events include a talk by political columnist and author Arianna Huffingtonpart of the Universitys acclaimed Festival of Ideas lecture series, musical and comedy performances, a WVU womens basketball game and pizza party.

Were very proud of the dedicated faculty members, highly regarded academic possibilities and state-of-the-art facilities available here at WVU ,said Ken Gray, vice president for student affairs.Winter Weekend allows us to share those features with the families of our students. We are honored to have them visit our campus and encourage their involvement.

Its been our experience that when parents are appropriately involved in their childs education, it can help enhance the students overall college experience,said Sabrina Cave, executive director of the Mountaineer Parents Club.Winter Weekend provides a great opportunity for parents to spend some quality time with their students and learn more about the opportunities and programs that await their students at WVU .

The weekends activities are not just for parents. High-school-age siblings of WVU students can also visit campus to learn more about college life and take part in Siblings Weekend activities, which are held in conjunction with Winter Weekend.

Siblings Weekend lets prospective students see the campus and learn about some of the things their brothers or sisters experience at WVU ,she said.They are invited to all of our special events, including campus tours, workouts at the rec center and all the activities surrounding the award-winning WVUp All Night program.

The Student Recreation Center and WVU Bookstore will be open throughout the weekend. Families can use the rec center for free, while the bookstore will offer a 10 percent discount with Mountaineer Parents Club membership cards.

The Mountaineer Parents Club will officially welcome parents to campus during a special reception from 5:30-7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 29, in the Mountainlair Vandalia Lounge. That evening, Huffington will give a talk,The Road to 2008: Presidential Politics Today,at 7:30 p.m. in the Mountainlair ballrooms.

The co-host of public radiosLeft, Right&Centerprogram and co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, a news and blog site, Huffington was named to Time magazines list of the worlds 100 most influential people in 2006. She has written nearly a dozen books, and her columns appear in newspapers across the country.

Huffingtons presentation kicks off the 2008 Festival of Ideas lecture series. Admission is free to the public.

The Creative Arts Center, meanwhile, will feature two events Friday evening. The Community Music Faculty Chamber Ensemble will perform a recital at 7:30 p.m. in the Bloch Learning Hall (Room 200A). The event is free and open to the public.

Comic Potential,a comedy by Alan Ayckbourn, will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Gladys G. Davis Theatre. To purchase tickets, call the WVU Box Office at 304-293-7469.

On Saturday, March 1, WVU s Winter Weekend faculty lecture series returns when Todd West, professor in the Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Services, presentsVines to Wines.Forrest Schwartz, program assistant for the Adventure WV program, will provide an overview of the outdoor orientation program for first-year students and Adventure Patagonia, and Kate McKeen, associate director of the Office of Undergraduate Recruitment, will presentWVU 101: What it means and how to become a Mountaineer.McKeen will offer information about WVU s admission process and requirements, financial aid, scholarships and housing.

The Mountaineer Parents Club will host its annual pizza party at noon Saturday in the Shell Building (adjacent to the WVU Coliseum) highlighted by appearances by the WVU womens basketball team and coach Mike Carey, the WVU pep band, cheerleaders, dance squad and Mountaineer mascot. The event is open to WVU families; no ticket is required.

After the pizza party, families with tickets may attend the 2 p.m. womens basketball game as the nationally ranked Mountaineers take on Louisville. Tickets are still available at; type in the promotion codePARENTS(case sensitive).

For a complete schedule of Winter Weekend events, go to click onWinter Weekend.

To register for Siblings Weekend events, call 304-293-2264 or visit