Parents and Families

Welcome Parents and Families!

You are an integral partner with UIS in assisting your student in their journey from being a first-year to a graduate!  This page is meant to share information and resources that will help you parent your student along this period in their lives.  Our Parent Relations programming is young, new, and developing.  Check back regularly to see what we add.

Family Weekend 2015Welcome to Family Weekend 2014

Each October we invite our parents and family members to come back to campus for a visit. Family Weekend 2015 will be Friday, October 16-Sunday, October 18, 2015.  Our program overlaps with the end of Homecoming to add greater variety to our programs.

Registration for Family Weekend is $10/family member. This will help our office offset costs for activities.  There are optional activities that do have an additional registration fee:

  • Homecoming 5K Spirit Run (fees not available as of 9/1);
  • Homecoming BBQ ($10/person, includes soccer game tickets);
  • Women’s Soccer Game and Men’s Soccer Game. Prices are listed in calendar below if you only want to attend games;
  • Parent/Family Continental Breakfast, $5/person (Parent/Family members only);
  • Family Weekend Chancellor’s Brunch, $20/family member.

If you are interested in doing things with your family in Springfield, visit the Convention & Visitor’s Bureau for their guidebook and calendar of events.

The Registration Form will be available on Tuesday, September 8. You can begin making hotel reservations by contacting some of the hotels that are offering special rates for UIS Orientation or Family Weekend families on our Travel and Accommodations webpage.

2015 Schedule of Events

Friday, October 16, 2015 

1 – 7 p.m.

Family Weekend Check-in.  PAC, 2nd Floor, Sangamon Auditorium Lobby.

2 p.m.

UIS Homecoming 5K Spirit Run (registration will open soon – possible entry fee).

4:15 p.m.

UIS Homecoming Parade.

4:45 – 7:15 p.m.

Homecoming BBQ ($10/person. UIS Students FREE with i-card. Includes dinner, admission to both Women’s and Men’s Soccer Games and Fireworks Show. Complete Registration Form to attend).

5 p.m.

Women’s Soccer Game vs. Maryville. Kiwanis Stadium. ($6 Adult General Admission; $3 K-12; Free preschool and younger; pay at gate.  UIS Students FREE with i-card)

7:30 p.m.

Men’s Soccer Game vs. Maryville.  Kiwanis Stadium. ($6 Adult General Admission; $3 K-12; Free preschool and younger; pay at gate.  UIS Students FREE with i-card)

Immediately After Game

Homecoming Fireworks Show

Saturday, October 17

9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Family Weekend Check-in, PAC, Location TBA

9 – 11 a.m.



Parents and Families Continental Breakfast and Social, PAC TBA ($5/family member; no students. Complete Registration Form to attend)

10:30 – noon

Prairie Star Family Association Inaugural Executive Board Elections and Business Meeting.

12 p.m.

Lunch on your own.  Enjoy some of Springfield’s ‘As Seen on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives’ restaurants:  D’arcy’s Pint, Charlie Parker’s, or Route 66’s famous Cozy Dog Drive-in.

1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Family Carnival: Try your hand at some classic carnival midway games for some really neat prizes. (included in Family Weekend Registration)

3:30 – 5 p.m.

Amazing Race: UIS Family Version. Challenge your family and see how much you know about UIS.  (included in Family Weekend Registration)

5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Family Game Night. Enjoy board games and pizza.  Sign up for UIS Family Feud 6:30 p.m.  (included in Family Weekend Registration)

Sunday, October 18

* Religious Services Information for families wishing to worship while in Springfield.  (This is an external site that is not maintained by UIS)

10 – 11:30 a.m.

Prairie Star Family Association Executive Board Meeting

11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Chancellor’s Brunch.  Prairie Star Family Association Board Report and Family Awards

12:15 – 1 p.m.

Prairie Star Family Association Board Report and Family Awards

1:30 – 3 p.m.

Prairie Star Family Association General Membership Meeting

Prairie Star Family Association (PSFA)

PSFA will be launching Fall 2015 and hold its first meeting during Family Weekend on Saturday, October 17.  Contact the Director of New Student Orientation and Parent Relations Lisa McGuire if you are interested in general membership (FREE) or running for an Executive Board position – President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer.

Family Orientation during First-Year Student Orientation

At UIS we understand both the student and their family make a transition to college – but in different ways. Orientation is most beneficial when students and parents/family members/guardians attend together. Parents and family members are an important part of a student’s life and our partner in helping them be successful at UIS.  To assist the parents and family members of first-year students through this transition we have a parent/family orientation track that runs concurrently with the first-year student summer overnight orientation program to introduce you to UIS, its staff, resources, and students.

The enrollment confirmation fee covers orientation expenses for the first-year student and up to two family members.  There will be a charge for any additional guests to cover the meal costs during orientation. Parents/Family members and guests will need to make overnight accommodations at one of our area hotels. Only students participating in the orientation program will be allowed to stay in the residence halls.

While we enjoy having siblings be a part of the Orientation process, Orientation may not be suited for young children and toddlers. From our experience the younger children get bored easily. They might have a better time at home with family members or friends and among their favorite playthings.

Family Information for Launch Week: Reach for the Stars – August 19

First-year students living on campus will be allowed to move into housing on Wednesday, August 19 and Commuter Students have a mandatory meet ‘n greet on Wednesday afternoon before their Launch Week experience August 20-22. Whether you are moving your student into on-campus housing or your student is commuting to campus parents/family members are invited to:

  • the Prairie Star Family Association Social at 4 p.m. (FREE)
  • the New Student and Family Welcome BBQ at 5 p.m. (FREE)
  • the New Student and Family Convocation with guest speaker Fran Kick at 6:15 p.m. (FREE)
  • and saying Good-bye to your student during Hugs & Kisses Goodbye from 7:30-7:55 p.m.

Family members are welcome to return home after the Hugs & Kisses Goodbye, your student will start their Launch Week programming at 8 p.m. that night. The Illinois State Fair will be August 13-23 this year.  If you need to make overnight accommodations to break up your travel when moving your student to campus you may want to make those reservations now – hotels will fill up fast.  Fair traffic will also slow down interstate traffic in and around Springfield, so take this into consideration when planning your student’s move to campus.

UIS Parents – Facebook Group

UIS creates a Facebook group for the parents and family members of each incoming Fall class.  It is a great way to interact and share your experience with other parents and stay connected to UIS.  Currently UIS Parents – Fall 2012; UIS Parents – Fall 2013; UIS Parents – Fall 2014; and UIS Parents – Fall 2015 are active. They are closed groups – you can go to the Facebook Group and ask to be invited or contact the UIS Office of Admissions and ask to be added to your student’s fall group.