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President’s Ball: A Roaring Success


Christy Blevins

Gatsby Themed President’s Ball a Success

On the night of November 9, Roanoke College campus transported back in time for the 1920’s Gatsby themed President’s Ball. Hosted by President Maxey and his wife, Terri, the Ball seemed to go off without a hitch and brought the 20’s to the 2000’s.

President’s Ball, commonly referred to as Pres. Ball on campus, lasted from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Saturday night. Students, faculty, and staff, along with their dates, lined up to scan in free of charge almost exactly at 8 p.m. Before scanning in, everyone was welcome to take photos with the old car set up just outside Colket Center. The car was lit up and 20’s era styled props were available for use. Sticking with the car and Gatsby theme, party-goers could take a picture with a cardboard cutout of J. Gatsby’s “famous” yellow car just inside the doors of Colket.

The Gatsby theme carried over into Pres. Ball extremely well. A majority of students and staff dressed in 20’s style clothing from flappers with feather boas, to extravagant wealthy 20’s woman styled looks with pearls and gloves galore. Party-goers enjoyed the theme as well as the overall experience.

Freshman Emma Hughen stated, “They did a fantastic job at the Gatsby theme and I think everyone liked it because it was so relevant to our interests from the novel and the movie.”

There were multiple rooms for those attending to hangout in and participate in Pres. Ball festivities. Pickle Lounge housed a snack bar with chocolate fountains and drinks. This provided a more relaxed setting for those attending and a break from the “partying.” Across form the other side of Colket, inside Commons, was the Dueling Pianos set up. The Cutting Edge Dueling Pianos entertained students and staff alike again this year through their comedic presence and their talented musicianship.

Freshman Michalla Braford said, “The dueling pianos were my favorite part because they were funny and the stage presence was fun and [their comedy was] at a college level.” Adding in to Braford’s response, Hughen also said, “They knew how to keep the crowd.”

All floors in Colket had multiple activities, not just the main floor. Downstairs in Cavern, DJ Hurley moved away from the 20’s theme and brought dancers back to modern times to create a more “club-like” scene. This “club” was crowded from 8 p.m. to closing on Saturday and kept everyone dancing and having fun. Just outside of Cavern were more snack tables and a photo station. Those attending had the option to wait in line and take a set of four photos with or without props. There was no limit as to how many times one could get in line. Props included money bags, a fedora, and a multitude of paper moustaches, pipes, and eye-glasses cutouts.

Upstairs in Wortmann Ballroom another dance floor was created. Those at Pres. Ball danced away to the musical entertaining of the Domino Band as they performed music from all time periods. Students “swing-danced” to music from the 20’s and then switched styles for consecutive music from 80’s pop and then to today’s hits.

On top of the activities available, Pres. Ball would not have been the same had the decorations not been there. Decked out in light strands, feather centerpieces, pearl swans, and pearl centerpieces, etcetera, Colket Center transformed into a really special place for the night. Students, staff and faculty, left at closing around midnight with laughs and huge smiles all around, taking from the night memories and leaving behind feathers everywhere in Colket Center.