Jan. 28, 2011

The Garveys and Students Bond at Inaugural Ball

Students watch the Garveys dance at the Inaugural Ball.
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Just before he stepped onto the dance floor, President John Garvey revealed a secret to the students who filled the Great Room at the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center.

"I actually don't dance," said Garvey. "I didn't even dance at my own wedding, so don't leave me out here by myself for too long," he added, motioning to the students who ringed the dance floor.

With that, the president and his wife, Jeanne, started swaying to "Can't Take My Eyes Off You." The students cheered; cameras flashed. When Jeanne Garvey kissed her husband, a collective cry of "Awww" rose up from the students. A young woman in the crowd sighed, "They're so in love!"

It was a love fest during the Student Inaugural Ball in the Great Room the evening of Friday, Jan. 28, at the end of a week that saw John Garvey inaugurated as the 15th president of Catholic University. Several students noted that the Garveys are role models for the kind of marriage that they hope to have one day.

Jeanne and John Garvey with members of the student committee that planned the gala.

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Sophomore media studies major Ashley Hopper, a member of the student committee that organized the gala, said, "As brilliant as the President is, he's so down-to-earth, and Mrs. Garvey … she's the best."

The father of five children, the president gave the students a little ribbing. "I just want to say how handsome and beautiful you all look. I've seen you in the morning when you don't look so great. This is a considerable improvement."

Hopper, of Moorestown, N.J., is one of nine committee members who started planning the gala back in October.

Bill Jonas, director of campus activities, had nothing but praise for the committee. Noting the many hours the members spent working on the gala, Jonas said, "We know we can count on the students. They're incredibly dependable."

The committee members picked the DJ, planned the menu of hors d'oeuvres and desserts, and selected the decorations. Some of the committee's special touches included a simple yet elegant invitation (an e-mailed white card trimmed in black); red, black and white M & Ms; and an ice sculpture of the CUA crest. Red paper napkins were monogrammed with the CUA crest and the words "Inaugural Ball."

At the ball, students had the opportunity to have prom-type photos taken in a room across the hall from the gala. The committee also gave away red blankets decorated with the words "Intellect and Virtue: Inauguration of President John H. Garvey."

The Garveys dance to "Can't Take My Eyes Off You."
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Katie Davis, director of catering, said that she was impressed by the committee members' commitment to making the event as memorable as possible for their fellow students. "They wanted to make sure this was an incredible event for the other students in every way: the food, the décor, the program. Their dedication is impressive."

Committee member Chris Pierno, a senior politics major from Queens, N.Y., said he was glad to have the chance "to give back to the university and its students" after nearly "four wonderful years" at CUA.

"Our class has had an incredible time during our time at CUA," said Pierno. "So much has happened - the papal visit to CUA [by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008], President Garvey's inauguration, President [Barack] Obama's inauguration. It's been amazing."


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