Dec. 1, 2010

Students to Dance the Night Away With President and Mrs. Garvey

Student committee
From left, student committee members Lauren McNamara, Ashley Hopper, Emma Gallagher, Mary Rita McKenna, Joe St. George, Chris Pierno, John McCarthy, Bronwen McAuliffe and Rachael Staab.
(Photo by Bill Jonas)

At Catholic University, students often fill leadership roles in running University events. But, even at CUA, students don't usually have the chance to plan a gala for the University President.

At work since early October, members of the Student Inaugural Ball Committee have been planning a University-wide black-tie optional gala that will be held Jan. 28 in honor of the inauguration of John Garvey as Catholic University's 15th president. Garvey and his wife, Jeanne Walter Garvey, are planning to attend.

Senior politics majors Joe St. George, from Youngstown, Ohio, and Christopher Pierno, from Ozone Park, N.Y., came up with the idea for a student ball and approached William Jonas, director of campus activities.

"We knew that we wanted it to be spectacular," says Pierno. "The inauguration of a University President does not happen every year, so we want it to be as significant as possible. The energy behind the inauguration is reminiscent of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to CUA two years ago. We have to make sure we live up to that energy."

Jonas says the committee members "are doing a great job of planning a classy, formal ball to celebrate President Garvey's inauguration. They're putting together what will be an evening worthy of this historic occasion. This group of student leaders has taken an idea and is running with it, and I believe the results will be a grand celebration and wonderful evening."

The event is scheduled to run from 8 p.m. to midnight at the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center. With the use of dramatic lighting, elegant centerpieces and CUA colors, the student committee hopes to change the entire feeling of the space to reflect the important moment in the University's history.

"The inauguration of a new president will probably not happen again during my time here at Catholic, so I'm really looking forward to it," said sophomore Ashley Hopper, a media studies major from Moorestown, N.J.

The event will feature a variety of food and desserts throughout the night, and special programming to highlight the guests of honor. The event is free for students. For more information, contact the Office of Campus Activities at 202-319-6003 or


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