More than 300 students and family members turned out for Parents Weekend at New College, Sept. 25-27, and were treated to a series of arts performances

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New College Parents Weekend Features the Arts


More than 300 students and family members turned out for Parents Weekend at New College, Sept. 25-27, and were treated to a series of arts performances.

New College’s own New Cats jazz band and a capella group Acapellago performed at the historic College Hall. Sarasota singer-songwriter Lesa Silvermore played along the Bayfront. Parents and students had free admission to the opening concert of the New Music New College series, composer and singer Kate Soper and the Wet Ink Ensemble, and to a performance by the College’s Windmill Theater Company.

The student and parents also heard from New College President Don O’Shea, who offered both heartfelt guidance and some practical tips on “Maximizing the New College Experience.” Some highlights:

“If you were to believe half of the stuff written in the press, your four years are an interruption before the real thing: work and the rest of your life.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

“Your four years at New College (yes, you should try to graduate in four years) are precious.  They are a time to explore.  And you, students, are very privileged to have them, and one of the things that parents and friends can do to support their students is to support that exploration.

“For students, the task is to find and pursue vocations.  Things you love, things you are good at, and things that help others.  Most of you are going to live a long time, and most of you will have many vocations.

“During these years, you learn to fail, and to learn from failing. You should also ask big questions, and acquire the habit of thinking actively and critically.

“It is also not enough to think.  You should learn to take a stand, to change your mind when called for by the evidence. And to find a way to contribute.”

O’Shea, an arts lover, also offered them tips on how to get the most out of Sarasota:

“Go to plays at the Asolo.  They have a whole series exploring race and identity in the US beginning with West Side Story in Oct and Nov – seasons tickets are $35.  And go downtown!”

Other Parents Weekend highlights included dinner and brunch in historic College Hall, a picnic on the College’s Sarasota Bayfront, tours of the Heiser Natural Science Complex and the Pritzker Marine Biological Research Center, and classes by Music Prof. Maribeth Clark  and Computer Science Prof. Matthew Lepinski.

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New College of Florida is a national leader in the arts and sciences and is the State of Florida’s designated honors college for the liberal arts. Consistently ranked among the top public liberal arts colleges in America by U.S. News & World ReportForbes and The Princeton Review, New College attracts highly motivated, academically talented students from 40 states and 15 foreign countries. A higher proportion of New College students receive Fulbright awards than graduates from virtually all other colleges and universities.

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