Stanford welcomes families to the Farm on Feb. 27 and 28

A parent t-shirt displayed during Parents' Weekend.
The Parents’ Club will offer specialty t-shirts during Parents’ Weekend on Feb. 27 and 28.

Employment prospects for humanities and arts majors will be the topic of one of 14 lectures, presentations and talks to be offered at Parents’ Weekend on Feb. 27 and 28, 2015.

Parents are encouraged to visit the Parents’ Weekend website to register for the popular annual event in advance. Also strongly encouraged is making early reservations for accommodations.
More than 3,000 family members—everyone is invited—are expected to attend. Online registration closes Jan. 28, 2015.

The humanities and arts career panel discussion will challenge the assumption that humanities and arts majors are unemployable and outline the resources Stanford offers to assist students with career exploration, according to Jeffrey Schwegman, Humanities and Arts Initiative coordinator in the School of Humanities and Sciences.

“There is a widespread belief these days that studying English or philosophy will lead to unemployment after graduation,” Schwegman said. “ In fact, the data suggests otherwise: humanities and arts majors fare quite well in the job market. Moreover, a broad liberal arts education can give young people an edge later in life if they need to retrain or change careers.”

Richard Saller
Richard Saller

The panel discussion will be moderated by Richard Saller, dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences, and will include historian James Campbell, career development specialist Margot Gilliland and two recent Stanford graduates: Alexander Berger, a senior research analyst at GiveWell, and Camille Ricketts, editor at First Round Review.

The panel discussion is just one of 14 Back to School Classes offered by Stanford faculty and administrators on topics ranging from sustainability to food to artificial intelligence. The classes, always one of the most popular parts of Parents’ Weekend, are designed to give families a sense of the educational experience at Stanford, according to Elaine Enos, executive director of the Office of Special Events and Protocol.

Among the other Back to School Classes offered this year will be “The Museum as Muse: Why the Arts Matter Now More than Ever,” featuring Connie Wolf, director of the Cantor Arts Center; “Why Counterterrorism is So Difficult,” featuring Martha Crenshaw, a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; and “Feeding Nine Billion,” featuring David Lobell, associate professor of Environmental Earth System Science.

Parents also will have the opportunity to take campus tours on both Friday and Saturday that highlight, for example, the university’s architecture, academic quadrangles, athletic facilities and dining halls. Also featured will be hikes to the Stanford Dish and a tour of the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve.

Also throwing their doors open to parents throughout the weekend will be the university’s community centers, as well as the Bing Concert Hall, the Product Realization Lab, the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, the Virtual Human Interaction Lab and the Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Lab.

Events officially begin on Friday at 9:30 a.m. with a welcome from Provost John Etchemendy. His talk will be followed by “Conversations with Parents,” which address issues specific to each class: freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. President John Hennessy’s always-popular question-and-answer session with parents will be held Friday afternoon.

Parents with questions on any range of subjects are encouraged to attend the Saturday morning Resource Fair. There, parents can talk directly to representatives from campus departments, including Residential Education, the Student Services Center, Undergraduate Advising and Research, Vaden Health Center and Public Safety.

The weekend’s events will wrap up on Saturday afternoon with the Entertainment Extravaganza! The annual event, sponsored by the Parents’ Club, features student performance groups. Tickets can be purchased online when parents register for Parents’ Weekend.

For more, visit the Parents’ Weekend website, which includes a link to answers to frequently asked questions.