Most USC parents don’t spend nearly as much time on campus as their children do, but during the upcoming Trojan Family Weekend, they can dive into nearly every aspect of university life.

“We look at Trojan Family Weekend as a great opportunity to bring parents into the fold, show them why they should feel proud of their son’s or daughter’s institution, and how they can be more involved,” says Adam Rosen, who heads up USC’s office of cultural relations and university events.

This year, students’ family members who travel to the Oct. 6-9 event at the University Park Campus will find more relevant programs than ever. Parents of freshmen and sophomores will learn about subjects like campus involvement, switching majors and finding summer internships. Parents of juniors and seniors can learn about commencement, graduate school and networking, among other topics. They’ll all find TED-style talks delivered by top faculty members, as well as signature opening and closing events each day.

Thursday and Friday will offer dozens of panel discussions and presentations, open houses at every school, hundreds of open-classroom visits, a range of guided tours (including the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Doheny Library), campus building walk-throughs (including newly completed Fertitta Hall and Kaufman International Dance Center), and an exclusive hard-hat tour of USC Village, set to open in fall 2017.


Saturday is all about football, including the popular Trojan Family Weekend tailgate party in Alumni Park. On Sunday, USC religious organizations and Greek life will welcome families.

Between activities, families can head for the open-air parents lounge, grab free refreshments in the welcome tent, make memories in photo booths, or hit the Lyon Center for an invigorating cardio or yoga class.

For entertainment, there are open rehearsals, stage performances, exhibits and screenings put on by USC’s arts schools. Parents can check out USC’s Visions and Voices program, which hosts an evening with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks on Thursday. Friday night comes alive with the new Trojan Family Weekend concert in McCarthy Quad.

The goal is for families to experience what it means to be part of a bigger USC Trojan Family. Says Rosen: “We have to not only tell parents how important to us they are, but show them, too — by creating valuable, meaningful activities that they can be part of.”