Students and family members fill Firestone Fieldhouse parking lot Oct. 14, for Madness Village. Attendees enjoyed games, food, the swings, a Ferris wheel and more. Photo by Brandon Rubsamen
Pepperdine’s annual Waves Weekend on Oct. 14-16, brought students and their families together in Malibu for a weekend filled with fun, including Madness Village, Blue and Orange Madness, coffee with Dean Feltner, an Adamson House Tour and more.
Waves Weekend is a chance for parents to reunite with their students as Pepperdine hosts events for them to take part in, according to Pepperdine’s website. Family members registered online prior to the start of the weekend in order to have access to all the activities.
Third-year Jackson Murrieta’s parents, J.P. and Tyra Murrieta, traveled to Malibu from New Mexico for Waves Weekend. J.P. Murrieta said Waves Weekend is an important event because parents can see the community and culture of the University.
“It’s always good to reconnect with your students and your child no matter how many times out of the year — this just makes another excuse for it,” J.P. Murrieta said.
Importance of Waves Weekend
Senior Jada Jensen said she works for Pepperdine’s Student Activities Office and planned the events with her colleagues in the office because the Student Activities only recently hired a Student Programs Coordinator, Emily Rauch. Jensen worked with Danielle Minke, director of student activities, senior Katie Price and Ryan Brinkman, senior and former Graphic photo editor.
“I think it’s [Waves Weekend] important, because it brings a sense of community that extends to the parents and it’s not just about students — your family is just as much a part of the Pepperdine community as everybody else,” Jensen said.
Jensen was in charge of running the parents check-in Oct. 14, in Upper Mullin Town Square with other student and staff volunteers. Family members received a T-shirt, tote bag and name at check-in, which the registration fee included. At the table, parents could also enter the raffle for a chance to make a half-court shot for a year of free tuition.
The Events at Waves Weekend
The weekend kicked off early Friday morning with options to either take a tour of the Adamson House, a hike to the cross, a walk to Pepperdine’s Theme Tower or an invitation to attend a class — the University offered over ten classes focused on business, economics, psychology, music, marketing classes and more.
President Jim Gash and First Lady Joline Gash opened their home to a dessert reception for families Friday afternoon before Madness Village and Blue and Orange Madness.
One of the biggest traditions of Waves Weekend is the carnival in Firestone Fieldhouse Parking Lot before Blue and Orange Madness, according to Pepperdine’s website.
The Student Programming Board hosts Madness Village, said junior Melanie Locke, who is on the Board’s marketing committee and does graphic design for the board. She said attending Blue and Orange Madness last year influenced her to join the Board this year.
“For so long it was just on paper and talking about it in meetings, and I only experienced the event as someone attending it before,” Locke said. “So seeing all of the work that goes into it, like that we put into it, was really, really kind of intense — really cool though.”
This year, Madness Village included carnival games, a Ferris wheel, booths from the Chemistry Club and Alumni Affairs, swings, Chick-fil-A and more. The annual event began at 5:30 p.m., but families were lined up before then, ready to check-in to receive their food ticket and start the night.
Locke designed the graphics on the T-shirts, tote bags, stickers and the posters. Students received a white ticket at the check-in for Madness Village to receive a free T-shirt with Locke’s design and a blue ticket for Chick-fil-A.
Some people, like J.P. Murrieta, wanted to see In-N-Out Burgers back at the carnival, but thought Chick-fil-A was a good second choice. Both J.P. and Tyra Murrieta are alumni of Pepperdine’s 1993 class — J.P. studied Telecommunications and Tyra studied Psychology.
“We always like to take a trip down memory lane which is fun,” J.P. Murrieta said.
J.P. and Tyra both attended Waves Weekend last year as well. J.P. said they did a tour of the Adamson House and hiked to the cross this year.
Junior Natalie Alderton, who also attended Madness Village, said she loves how the Board and other departments at Pepperdine plan events with a focus on student enjoyment.
Alderton said she attended Waves Weekend last year with her parents, but this year she is attending with her friends.
“I feel like everyone books Waves Weekend off in their calendar, and so it’s really fun for us to get to do something a little bit different,” Alderton said. “We’re not just going to the library or doing normal on-campus things — I feel like it’s a fun break away from the norm on campus.”
She said she likes the atmosphere at Madness Village because everyone seems happy, and students are spending time with their parents.
“It just like a really big event to look forward to and it’s almost like you’re going to an amusement park, but it’s right here on campus,” Alderton said.
Parents and students filled Firestone Fieldhouse at 8 p.m. for a night filled with dunk contests, Won by One’s performance, half-court shot attempts, cheer team, step team and RnD dance crew performances.
On Oct. 15, the University invited parents and students to coffee with Dean Michael Feltner, a picnic on Alumni Park, a Pepperdine Improv Troupe comedy performance, The Table and a Syncopated Ladies all-female tap dance band performance. Like last year, there was no concert performance.
Family members ended the weekend gathering for a discussion with Pastor Eric Wilson and Minister Falon Barton to explore experiences and connections with God based on the book “Sacred Pathways: Nine Ways to Connect with God,“ and the University Church of Christ held a worship service in Elkins Auditorium to wrap up the weekend.
Waves Weekend serves as an opportunity for parents to see their students and get a sense of the community, Jensen said. For some, this is the first time since they dropped them off for the start of the school year, parents said.
“Because during NSO, Pepperdine puts on a show versus during Waves Weekend they [parents] have the opportunity to go into classes and they have the opportunity to go to athletic events and things like that so they get to see the true essence of Pepperdine,” Jensen said.
Picnic at Alumni Park
First-year Stephen Karambelas said he spent Waves Weekend with his parents and brother.
“It’s been awesome, just super fun to show the family around and show them why I chose Pepperdine and, I don’t know, just to give them a view of everyday life at college,” Karambelas said.
Some events the Karambelas family took part in included Madness Village, the hike to the cross, surfing and the picnic on Alumni Park. Monica Karambelas said the food at the picnic was wonderful and she loved all the options.
“You could feed us crackers and cheese and grapes and we’ll be fine — this view is amazing,” Monica Karambelas said.
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