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 members age 12+; $5/child aged 5-11; FREE for UIS  student and family members preschool and under. This fee includes participation in:

  • Family Weekend Carnival, Saturday
  • Amazing Race; UIS Family Edition, Saturday
  • Family Game Night and Pizza Party, Saturday
  • Family Feud: UIS Edition, Saturday
  • Prairie Star Family Association Board Report and Family Weekend Awards, Sunday

There are optional Homecoming activities that have an additional registration fee:

  • Homecoming 5K Spirit Run. FREE!  Check-in TRAC at least 15 minute before 2:30 p.m. race time;
  • Homecoming BBQ and Women’s/Men’s Soccer Games/Fireworks Show Package ($10/person; FREE for UIS students with their i-card);

Women’s Soccer Game and Men’s Soccer Game. If you only want to attend the games, print the special Family Weekend voucher below for $3/person admission fee (children preschool and under FREE; UIS students FREE with UIS i-card). Present voucher and pay at gate. 

Voucher for Special pricing for Homecoming Soccer games

Voucher for Special pricing for Homecoming Soccer games

These are optional Family Weekend activities that have an additional registration fee:

  • Parent/Family Continental Breakfast, $5/person (Parent/Family members only);
  • Family Weekend Chancellor’s Brunch, $14/family member 12+; $.

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.

Register for Family Weekend

UIS Family Weekend Online registration form for credit card payment and personal check, cashier’s check or money order payment 

If you are having problems with the online form or are unable to register online please use the PDF or Word forms below 

UIS Family Weekend registration form (PDF) (for personal check, cashier’s check, or money order payment)
UIS Family Weekend registration form (Word)  (for personal check, cashier’s check, or money order payment)


if you are paying by personal check, cashier’s check or money order you mail the completed registration form with your payment to:

Office of New Student Orientation & Parent Relations (attn: Family Weekend)
One University Plaza, MS SAB 20
Springfield, IL 62703-5407

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 (check-in day of race at TRAC).

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.

7:30 p.m.

Men’s Soccer Game vs. Maryville.  Kiwanis Stadium.

Immediately After Game

Homecoming Fireworks Show

Saturday, October 17

9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

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

9:30 – 12 p.m.

Breakfast of Research Champions, PAC, 2nd Floor Sangamon Auditorium Lobby. The Research Society at UIS is our co-host for the Prairie Star Family Association Continental Breakfast and Social. Current UIS students will present their research posters and the Director of the Undergraduate Research Support Program will describe the importance of undergraduate research participation and resources available. Families take some time to walk around and learn about the research that current UIS students are involved in.  Dr. Keenan Dungery, chair of the UIS Research Society will make a brief presentation at 10 a.m.


Parents and Families Continental Breakfast and Social, PAC, 2nd Floor Sangamon Auditorium Lobby ($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. – 12:45 p.m.

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

12:45 – 1:30 p.m.

Prairie Star Family Association Board Report and Family Awards

1:30 – 3 p.m.

Prairie Star Family Association General Membership Meeting  (optional, at the discretion of the new board and members)

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.

Prairie Star Family Association Constitution & By-Laws

Prairie Star Family Association Candidate Information Form [Word]

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. Our two-part, mandatory Orientation programs are 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.  The first part of orientation is the two-day, overnight orientations in July and July.  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.  Planning ahead? Dates for Summer 2016 have been announced.  Registration will go live on February 1, 2016.  The second part of orientation is the 4-day Launch Week in August (see below).

Two-day, overnight orientation.  The enrollment confirmation fee covers orientation expenses for the first-year student and up to two family members.  There will be a $25/person 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 2016:  August 17-20

First-year students living on campus will be allowed to move into housing on Wednesday, August 17 and Commuter Students have a mandatory meet ‘n greet on Wednesday afternoon before their Launch Week experience August 17-20 (Commuter students should expect to be on campus from 3-9 Wednesday, 9:45-4 Thursday, 9:45-4 Friday, and 9:45-2 Saturday and request off of work accordingly).

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 continue their Launch Week programming at 8 p.m. that night. The Illinois State Fair will be August 11-21 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.  The UIS – Fall 2016 group will be created later this fall.  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 type in their name into Facebook search, click on the group, and ask to be invited or contact the UIS Office of Admissions and ask to be added to your student’s fall group.