Annual Presidents' Ball to be held downtown at DeVos Place

By Arpan Lobo | 1/29/18 12:48am

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GVL / Emily Frye Grand Valley State University hosts the President's Ball on Friday Feb. 3, 2017.

A long-standing Laker Tradition is returning to Grand Valley State University this Friday. 

The 2018 GVSU Presidents' Ball will take place Friday, Feb. 2, at the DeVos Place Ballroom in Grand Rapids. The event starts with a cocktail hour at 5:30 p.m., with dinner starting at 6:15 p.m. and the dance starting at 8:30 p.m. The event will run until 12:30 a.m., but doors close at 11 p.m.

Tickets for Presidents' Ball vary in price. For the cocktail hour, dinner and dance, tickets are $30 for students and $35 for faculty and staff. Tickets for the dance alone are $18. To purchase tickets, students, faculty and staff can visit the Presidents' Ball web page to select their choice. Buyers must use a GVSU login for access and can purchase up to 10 tickets. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

The theme of the event, "A Night of Masqueraded Mystery," gives GVSU students the chance to participate in a classic setting, as attendees are encouraged to bring masquerade-appropriate masks to the dance. 

The theme was selected by Laker Traditions, a division of the Office of Student Life. 

Students living in Allendale will be able to take charter buses provided by GVSU. The buses will be shuttling from both the Allendale (Kirkhof Center) and Pew Campuses, and will take up to 50 passengers directly to DeVos Place. 

Officials from Laker Traditions are excited for the event. LeaAnn Tibbe, associate director of student life, believes the night will be special for anyone in attendance.

"This is a highlight of a lot of students' experiences (at GVSU)," Tibbe said. "I think for Grand Valley it's magic."

Last year, around 4,000 individuals attended Presidents' Ball. Tibbe expects around the same number to be in attendance this year. 

Drinks will be available through a cash-only bar, but those purchasing must be of age and have proof of identification. The Presidents' Ball website has a section on advice for GVSU students on drinking at the event.

There will also be performances by the Swing Dance Club and the Fencing Club. Abbi Mikaelian, Presidents’ Ball coordinator, believes the event will offer something for everyone.

"Even if you don't like dancing, you could still do stuff at Pres. Ball," she said. Mikaelian called the event "like prom on steroids," meaning that GVSU and Laker Traditions aim to make the event enjoyable not only for the students, but for faculty and alumni as well.

Tibbe also highlighted that Presidents' Ball is something that is very unique. 

"We're a model for other schools," she said. She pointed to that because GVSU President Thomas Haas is involved in the event, which makes the evening that much more unique for the GVSU community.

A campus-wide email was sent out Wednesday, Jan. 24, too, inviting students, faculty and staff to attend the event. "Grab a mask of your choosing and prepare for an evening of elegance and mystery with your fellow Lakers," read the email, signed by Haas and student senate president Jonathan Bowman. 

The dinner portion of the ball will also feature the crowning of winners of the Laker of the Year award and the Student Award for Faculty Excellence. GVSU student senate reviewed nominees, and the selections will be revealed at Presidents' Ball.

"We've built a tradition here that I'm really proud of," Tibbe added.

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