Emily VanGorder – Editor-in-Chief
The 36th annual President’s Ball is being held this from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m on Saturday, February 26 at the Mayo Clinic Event Center in Mankato. The event includes a social hour, dinner, and dancing with music provided by the Bluewater Kings cover band, as well as a photo booth and cash bar.
This year’s ball was planned around an aurora borealis theme. “My co-executive, Claire Lind, and I… brainstormed theme ideas once we were heading back to campus after seeing the Mayo Clinic Event site. We listed a bunch, looked up some things, and brought that list back to our advisor. We thought that the aurora borealis would be the best one, something we could play off” Sophomore and Co-Executive of the CAB Emma Ericson said. The theme greatly influenced event decorations, which will incorporate the colors of the Northern lights with a woodland theme.
Planning for this year’s President’s Ball began last November. The last President’s Ball was held in 2018. After being canceled in 2019 due to the polar vortex, the ball was canceled twice in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19. “It’s been a long process of figuring out what to do, what the President’s Ball is all about.. It was a little hard because no one on our board has been to [a President’s Ball] besides our advisor,” Ericson said.
“I’m excited because no student on campus has had this experience before. The seniors have had three cancellations over the years,” Senior Korinna Hylen said.
Ericson and Lind had to plan the event while considering the impact COVID-19 would have on regulations and attendance.
“It’s always been in the back of our minds, what’s going to happen… We always stuck to our plan of having people wear masks and make sure they’re still following proper protocols and the protocols our college has set in place” Ericson said.
Ericson and Lind connected with chair of the campus COVID-19 response leadership team Barb Larson Taylor to review regulations and make sure that busing to and from the event could still take place.
“I’m happy my friends and I get to experience at least one President’s ball in our four years here” Senior Gillian Duncan said.
Coach buses will be provided by the Gray Line transportation service to transport students to and from the Mayo Clinic Event Center.
The live music provided by the Bluewater Kings cover band has been heard at past President’s Balls, and was chosen again this year to appreciate the ability to hear live music. “We were deciding on whether we wanted a DJ or a live band. We were leaning toward a live band because we thought that it would be cooler for everyone [and] bring back that experience of live sound, especially after so many years of not having these kinds of events” Ericson said.
This year’s $15 ticket fee, with an optional additional $5 bus ticket fee, is cheaper than in previous years. Revenue goes towards paying for a $25 meal, provided by Najwa’s Catering, as well as decorations and the fees to book the venue, music, and buses. “We did $15 this year because we thought it would pull people in who weren’t sure if they wanted to attend…
We wanted to host this event too because the freshman and sophomore class never got a senior prom, so we really wanted to bring it back this year to give them that opportunity. The upper classes never really had the chance to go to this either, so I think it [benefits] all students” Ericson said.
“My co-executive and I worked together really well to figure out issues we’ve had come up… I’m excited to see it all… the decorations, and to see everyone come to the event as well,” Ericson said.
“I’m most excited to have this experience with the friends I’ve made over the past four years and reflect on my undergraduate career as it comes to an end” Senior Ashleigh Metcalf said.