Parents of new Fresno State students will meet university president Joseph I. Castro at Parent Welcome Night, 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27, at the Smittcamp Alumni House Courtyard (2625 Matoian Way).

Presented by the Fresno State Parents Association and the Division of Student Affairs, the free event was created for parents of new students, but organizers say all Bulldog parents are welcome to attend.

Parents will meet with campus officials who will provide information about services and opportunities the university provides to students.

The event opens with an hors d’oeuvres reception and information tables, followed by the program at 6:30 p.m. The information fair will continue after the program, with drawings for prizes, including the grand drawing for a gift basket from the Gibson Farm Market, concluding at 8 p.m.

The Parents Association was created in 1999 by Paul DeRuosi, director of development for Student Affairs. He said the goal was to help families become active in the university community through events, forums and activities.

The association also promotes a Parents Hotline for assistance with university-related issues. Parents can reach DeRuosi at 559.278.5052 or Jennifer Stemwedel at 278.4189.

Gracie Bachicha, Parents Association board member, said the organization is helpful because it can be difficult to stay connected with children after they leave for college.

“Being a parent of a college student can be difficult because you feel disconnected,” Bachicha said. “However joining the Parents Association helps you to still be part of their future.”

Welcome Night will include representatives from Advising Services, Learning Center, Support Net, University Police, Office of Study Abroad, Health and Psychological Services, Career Services, Services for Students with Disabilities, Women’s Resource Center, Student Involvement, Richter Center, Central Valley Cultural Heritage Institute, University Migrant Services and Associated Students, Inc.

Parking is free for the first 200 guests with a coupon code. For the code or more information, contact Stemwedel at 559.278.4189, email or visit the website RSVP is required.

Also on the horizon is Parents Association Weekend (P.A.W.) Sept. 20 and 21 — the group’s biggest event of the year. Activities include campus tours, bowling, tickets to the Fresno State vs. Boise State football game Friday with a tailgate barbecue dinner, door prizes and a Saturday brunch.

Tickets for the September event must be purchased in advance. Proceeds will benefit special projects in Student Affairs that help students.

For more information about both events, see Parents Association.

(Copy by University Communications news intern Ashlie Day.)