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President’s Ball in the Big Easy

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Xena Callaham
Photo courtesy of Xena Callaham

By Erin Keating

 

The President’s Ball on Nov. 8 lasted from 8:00 p.m. to midnight in the Colket Center and featured New Orleans-inspired entertainment.   On the main level of the Colket Center, inspired by the French Quarter, guests were greeted by beautiful string lights and Mardi Gras decorations.  In Commons, dueling pianos provided live music for guests [.  The musicians took requests for anything from Taylor Swift to Billy Joel and held games where the audience had to dance onstage.  In Pickle Lounge, students could choose from all kinds of chocolate desserts, including hot cocoa, and make their own chocolate-covered confections.  Connected to the Pickle Lounge was a cash bar in the Paterson Meeting Room for guests 21 and over.

Upstairs, themed like the Garden District, the Wortmann Ballroom featured a jazz band.  Faculty, staff, students, and guests twirled around on the checkered black-and-white dance floor to oldies like “My Girl” and many more. Also upstairs were selections of traditional New Orleans food, including a very popular shrimp gumbo.  Tables dotted the upper floor and were lit by small street lamps, creating a beautiful setting to eat or take a break from all of the dancing.

Meanwhile, on the lower level of Colket, based on Bourbon Street, a DJ entertained guests in Cavern with rap music and strobe lights.  The modern music drew students and their dates downstairs to dance.  Even more food and beverages were available in the Lower Atrium and students could snack between songs.  In the Kresge TV Lounge, a card table was set up for guests to enjoy themselves with casino style card games.

The night was a wonderful success thanks to the efforts of the President’s Ball Planning Committee and provided students and faculty an excellent opportunity to see each other dressed up and outside their usual routines.  Among the fashions of the night were yellow, green, purple, and silver Mardi Gras beads which were handed out at the tables in the center of the first floor atrium.  Also popular were masquerade masks sported by students and faculty alike.  This New Orleans style night follows last year’s 1920’s inspired bash that rivaled Jay Gatsby and already has students looking forward to next year’s President’s Ball.