"The Bulldog Ball, A Black Tie Event" is nothing new for Union College students. They've attended it annually for several years. This year, however, it's in disguise.
More commonly known as the "Spring Formal," the dance, sponsored by the Student Government Association, is traditionally a way for students to celebrate the near-completion of a successful academic year. The inauguration of Union's 19th president has added a reason to celebrate and inspired them to reinvent this annual event.
While the ball is still very much student-focused, a few things have been modified. For one, the date of the ball is intentionally scheduled for the night of President Marcia Hawkins' induction ceremony, making this an official inauguration event. Also, the guest list has been expanded, and the formal aspect emphasized.
Caitlin Scheidt, SGA vice president of academic affairs and an organizer of the ball, said SGA chose to sponsor this event because it will serve not only as a celebration of the inauguration, but also of the hard work that students have put in all year. Additionally, it could provide students with unexpected benefits.
"One major difference between the (Bulldog) ball and spring formals we've had in the past is that not only students are invited, but so are faculty, staff, trustees, alumni and community members," Scheidt said. "This will give students a chance to mingle with some of the most successful people that have ties with Union. The relationships formed at this event could last a lifetime and prove useful to students in the future."
Erin Porter, also a committee member, said that while the atmosphere may be different, it will still be an end-of-the-year gathering students should look forward to.
"It will be a lot more of a prestigious environment, with formal attire and more distinguished guests," Porter said. "But it is still a social event - one students should be a part of."
The formal nature of the event has been enhanced by key donations. Brenda Corey and Donna Garland Corey, both of Barbourville, have loaned a variety of things, such as furnishings, lights, accessories and expertise for decorating and planning. Pioneer Food Service is catering the event free of charge.
The event is April 26 at 8:00 p.m. in the Barbourville City School Old Gymnasium and will last until midnight. Tickets are limited to 500 and must be reserved online at www.unionky.edu/bulldogball. While many people connected to the college have been invited to receive complimentary tickets, the community is welcome to attend by purchasing tickets at $25 each. Money will be donated to the Union College Lakeside Pond Reclamation Project, a student initiative.
Attire for the event is black-tie: a tuxedo or black suit is acceptable for men, and a tea-length or floor-length gown is acceptable for women. Attire meeting these requirements can be found at Carreen's Prom and Pageant, located in the Court Square.