Parent and Family Weekend is your best opportunity to get a taste of the life and the work in which your johnnie in engaged. Through class visits, a chance to chat with our faculty, and a special seminar just for family and friends, you’ll get a sense of the vitality and richness of the St. John’s experience – and, of course, you’ll enjoy a wonderful visit with your johnnie in one of the greatest vacation destinations in the U.S. 


Schedule of Events

All scheduled events subject to change


Thursday, October 9


Coffeeshop, Peterson Student Center

3 – 6 p.m.

Pick up your registration materials when you arrive on campus.


Observe a seminar

The heart of the St. John’scurriculum is the evening seminar. We invite you to observe your johnnie’s seminar, but keep in mind that only students and tutors are allowed to speak. Please contact your johnnie ahead of time to get his or her seminar reading, meeting time, and room number.


Friday, October 10


Coffeeshop, Peterson Student Center

8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.


Observe a tutorial

Parents are invited to observe Friday classes, which may include language, mathematics, laboratory, or music, depending on your johnnie’s course schedule. If you plan to observe your johnnie’s classes, please contact him or her ahead of time to get his or her Friday class schedule and room numbers. As with seminar, we ask that you observe only. You will have an excellent opportunity to be an active participant in the Parents’ Seminars on Saturday.


Campus Tours

Coffeeshop, Peterson Student Center, leaving at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Take a guided tour of campus facilities, including Meem Library, the Student Activities Center, the new dormitories, Peterson Student Center, classrooms, and administrative offices.


Meet the Tutors Reception

Junior Common Room and Balcony,

Peterson Student Center

4:30 – 6 p.m.

This is an invaluable opportunity for parents to meet senior administration, faculty, staff, and other parents. Students are welcome to attend so they may introduce you to their current tutors.


What is a Book?  A History of the Book

St. John’s College Art Gallery,

Peterson Student Center

6 – 7 p.m.

An exhibition featuring the book art of SJC student Caitlin O’Brien and local artists Marilyn Chambers, Marina Brownlow, and Patricia Pearce.  For more information, click here.


Dean’s Lecture: "The (Plato's) Cave, and the cave beneath the cave, Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit"

Great Hall, 7:30 p.m.

The Friday Night Lecture is an important part of the St. John’s Program, and is well attended by students and faculty alike. Tonight’s lecture will be given by tutor Jonathan Hand.

At the beginning of book VII of Plato's Republic, Socrates gives "an image of our nature (physis) with respect to its education and lack of education, " namely that famous "cave" in which humans live, as prisoners, unless and until they are liberated by philosophy. The reference to nature would suggest that this initial condition of unfreedom and ignorance is true everywhere and always, i.e. in any society whatsoever, except the lucky few whose souls are turned around and led out, e-ducted. Is this still true, or have modern science and progressive egalitarianism and secularism (aka "The Enlightenment"] transformed that condition?  Or are we moderns perhaps only in a different kind of "cave", a "cave beneath the cave," as one recent student of Plato's claimed?  These sorts of questions are taken up by Hegel in the section of the Phenomenology entitled "Reason," Hegel's critique of the self-understanding of Western modernity, and continue to be of capital importance.


Saturday, October 11

Parents’ Seminar on two poems by T.S. Eliot

Santa Fe Hall– Staff members will be located at the north doors of Santa Fe Hall to give room assignments.

9:45 a.m. – Noon

The seminar experience awakens an intense curiosity regarding the eternal questions of human existence, deepens one’s understanding of a text, and provides an environment for intellectual growth and personal enrichment. This is your chance to experience the very essence of learning at St. John’sCollege. Registration is required, and participants are asked to read the selected text prior to arrival on campus at least once. Led by members of the faculty, the texts for this year’s seminars are two poems by Marianne Moore, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and “The Hollow Men.”

(Please note that Parents’ Seminars are for Parents only, and students will certainly be happy to use this time to sleep in!)

A copy of the reading will be sent to you as part of your registration confirmation packet.


President’s Lunch

Great Hall, Peterson Student Center

12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

Join President and Mrs. Peters for lunch as the formal events of Parent and Family Weekend come to a close.


Gallery Walking Tours

Railyard and Canyon Road Arts Districts

The city of Santa Fehas long been a center for artistic expression. Parents are invited to take a self-guided walking tour of two of the main arts districts close to the campus, the Railyard and Canyon Road. Explanatory materials and maps will be available at registration. For more information on tour companies offering guide services by foot or by tram, contact the college Alumni Office at the numbers listed below.


Waltz Party

Great Hall, Peterson Student Center,

8:00 p.m. – midnight

A long tradition at the college, waltz parties liven up the weekends for a break from study. Join your students for waltz, jitterbug, swing, rock, and more.


Information: Please contact Ben Osborn in the Alumni Office

Phone 505-984-6103 | | E-mail