Article Written By: Sarah Joseph
Photo Courtesy of Roanoke College
Nov. 12, Roanoke College students donned their lace and pearls, ready to fly off into the night. This year, the theme of the annual President’s Ball was “Out of This World” and, as the name implies, the ball definitely fell outside of students’ typical activities.
As President Maxey and the college celebrated the 10th anniversary of the ball, President Maxey reflected on how and why he began this now treasured tradition. When President Maxey came into his position, he considered ways he could create a community-enhancing atmosphere.
“I thought that Roanoke needed an event that included the whole community, where it could be festive, celebratory, but it needed to be done well.”
That’s how the idea of the ball came about; balls tend to be classy, and President Maxey is classy.
“I remember when it was first put into place,” said Maxey. “I had to deliberately go up to students and say ‘hey, you should go to the ball’. I remember having to personally invite students to insure the success of the ball, but now I don’t have to do that anymore. In fact, students now come up to me and say they are excited for the ball. They even ask me ‘What it is the theme going to be this year? What are you going to be wearing?’ And almost every year I have alumn call me to ask for permission to come back, which I think shows how the ball has become meaningful, because this is an event in which we’re all equal. I like that. Faculty and students are dancing together and it’s just one group, having fun.”
President Maxey appreciates the way in which the students and faculty come together to celebrate as a community. However, Maxey particularly wanted to credit Tanya Ridpath as the lead person of the planning and executing the Ball.
“She worked long hours to ensure the success of the Ball, but she’s not the only one. There were many others who put at least 500 hours of hard work into this.”
This hard work was not in vain. Students made positive memories that night.
“I think President’s Ball is special because it is a good chance to hang out with friends but also the faculty. There’s also good food and the decorations are nice, which is never a bad thing,” said Becca Anderson, junior.
“It’s definitely a tradition. It’s cool that we’re with the faculty and staff and students. There is no other place like it. I talked to President Maxey and I even hugged his wife!” said Sarah Waldinger, sophomore.
“My favorite room was the top floor. You go there, dance your butt off, and then there’s food outside! The Obi-Wan Kaboni chicken skewers were out of this world. The whole thing was Out of This World,”said Chris Fenton, sophomore. In fact, some people embraced this theme by choosing to dress to the theme. One group dressed as Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story.