They created the menu, reserved the hall, booked a disc jockey, practiced their dance moves and bought the decorations.
Now, months after their planning began, Tori Leder ’16 and Kendrick Arakaki ’14 are ready to celebrate this year’s Black Tie Affair Feb. 21 at the Salem Conference Center.
The Willamette Events Board (W.E.B) hosts this semi-formal dinner and dance event annually for Willamette’s undergraduate students.
“Kendrick and I have been planning Black Tie since early last semester,” Leder says. “We try to stay ahead of everything, wanting Black Tie to be the best it can be for the students who attend. I really think we accomplished that this year and am looking forward to seeing the results.”
This year, the theme is “Great Gatsby.” Doors open at 7 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7:30 p.m., accompanied by the Willamette Singers. The dance will commence from 8:30 p.m. to midnight.
At the event, not only will students dance and feast on a variety of foods, they will also have the opportunity to meet the new American Studies Program students from Tokyo International University of America and take pictures in a photo booth.
“My favorite part of Black Tie is seeing everyone dressed up,” Leder says. “We have so few opportunities to get dolled up in college. Seeing a sea of people dressed to the nines is always great. Add a yummy dinner and some fun dancing, I can't think of a better time.”
Leder says events like Black Tie are important because they keep a tradition of bringing the Willamette community together.
“I hope they have a ton of fun, relax from the stress that comes with midterm season, and maybe meet new people,” Leder says. “I want people to walk away feeling happy.”
Students have the option to attend the dance, dinner, or both. Dance-only tickets cost $5 for individuals and $9 for pairs, while dinner-and-dancing tickets cost $14 for individuals and $26 for pairs. Tickets are available online at willamette.edu/go/blacktie.