I’m certain the Pinterest boards on “Old Hollywood Glamour” have been lighting up as you and your friends make plans for Birthday Ball, one of our campus’s biggest events of the year; starlets in beautiful gowns, leading men in handsome tuxedos, the Johnson Fitness Center transformed into a Hollywood movie set. The evening promises to be a fun throwback to the early decades of the 20th century, when Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart represented the pinnacles of style and grace.
As you get ready to celebrate with your friends, I want to tell you about a wonderful new program the Office of Student Engagement is offering this year. Martha’s Boutique will be open on Feb. 20 from 7 – 9p.m. in the Egg, where you can get gently or never-used formal wear completely free.
When the big night arrives, I also hope you’ll apply a lesson you may have picked up from one of your visits to the Career Center. If you want people at work to believe that you are professional, you have to dress and act the part. In this case, when you are channeling your inner Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers, remember that you are in the spotlight, and that people—some of whom will be at the front of the classroom Monday morning—will remember your performances long after the notes of the last dance have faded into the evening air.
George Washington’s Birthday Ball is a community tradition. Alumni, faculty and staff, parents, and Board members like to dress up and dance to live music, too. So remember your Hollywood manners. As Cary Grant once remarked: “Probably no greater honor can come to any man than the respect of his colleagues.”
So, in that spirit, be a good friend, be smart in your choices, be aware of your surroundings, and be safe.
I’m looking forward to seeing you all on the dance floor.
President Sheila Bair