Friday, Jan. 23, students started celebrating the university’s centennial anniversary by hosting a semi-formal dance.
The theme of the Centennial Ball was “winter wonderland,” with snowflakes and lighting to set the atmosphere. The general mood of students was one of excitement, especially after the announcement that WAC would be bringing Ludacris to the 2015 Spring Concert.
Students and faculty began setting up decorations for the ball Friday at 2 p.m. in the Fulkerson Center, but student planning for the Centennial Ball began long ago.
Last November, Isaiah Collier, assistant dean of student development, and Colleen Kowich, director of alumni relations, co-directed a committee of student leaders to brainstorm student-oriented events to celebrate the anniversary.
“We wanted [the students] to have the opportunity to celebrate in a way that they wanted to,” Kowich said. “Everything from the DJ, to food, to decorations – they’ve chosen it all and done it all.”
“It’s just like a birthday,” Deir Montiel, a member of the centennial student committee, said. “You see someone turn one hundred years old, you wonder about how they lived their life.”
Students aren’t the only ones celebrating the centennial. On Saturday, Jan. 17, Missouri Western kicked off the centennial with the Capital Campaign Reception, at which Western announced the $16.8 million in funding that had been donated to assist with various things on campus.
Although the ball is over, work for the centennial student committee is far from finished. Plans are in the making of different ways the centennial can be expressed throughout the year.
Ideas include theming Homecoming and Family Weekend for the anniversary, collecting memorabilia for a community time capsule and adding to the articles and interviews on the centennial section of Western’s website.
But the centennial celebrations are meant to be more than just hanging out with friends and having a great time.
“We really wanted students to walk away with a sense of pride,” Collier said.
For those who have yet to engage in the centennial celebrations, it’s not too late to get involved. Any student on campus can have a say in the future of the university, but communication is key.
“If there are any students who have any ideas at all, SGA meetings are at 5:30 p.m. on Mondays,” Lionel Attawia, member of the centennial student committee and student governor said. “Come to the SGA meetings, or contact me at email@example.com.”