Outgoing New College president Gordon “Mike” Michalson was honored at a gala dinner on Feb. 11 to celebrate his accomplishments and his legacy as the first president of an independent New College.
The dinner, which raised a net total of $115,000 and was held at Lakewood Ranch’s Polo Grill, was attended by students, administrators, community leaders and alumni who jumped at the chance to commemorate Michalson’s tenure. The 310 guests dined on chopped salad, filet mignon served over asparagus, Chilean sea bass served with coconut jasmine rice, and chocolate crème brûlée. Those in attendance also saw a short film directed by thesis student Nick Manting-Brewer which featured student interviews on their feelings toward Michalson, and according to the New College Foundation’s Director of Special Initiatives Johnette Cappadona, it was the “hit of the evening.” Following dinner, guests danced to the music of a brass band.
During the event, Michalson and guests alike learned that First and Second Courts in Pei had been renamed at the behest of Board of Trustees chairman and former state senator Bob Johnson. First Court, which formerly bore Johnson’s name, was rededicated in memory of Peggy Bates, a former professor of political science who lived in the dormitory during her tenure. Second Court, which was previously named in Bates’ honor, has now been renamed after President Michalson.