As strains of The Beatles’ track “Yesterday” and other classical ditties performed by a violinist and harpist were heard in the background, nearly 600 well-dressed socialites, alums, philanthropists and others noshed on choice cuts of filet mignon and made small talk at a dinner held Feb. 10 at the Ritz-Carlton Resort to raise money in commemoration of New College’s 50th anniversary.
New College Foundation president Andy Walker told the Catalyst via e-mail that the event was hoped to raise at least $100,000. Tickets for the dinner started at $250 per person, with donors also able to join different levels of support for the function by donating more money. For example, those wishing to be classified in the “Emerald Gem” sponsorship level donated $10,000 and received eight tickets to the dinner, while the “Ruby Gem” and “Sapphire Gem” levels required donations of $5,000 or $2,500 respectively in exchange for four or two tickets.
The dinner featured speeches from President Gordon “Mike” Michalson, former state senator Bob Johnson (for whom First Court is named), alum and Board of Trustees member Felice Schulaner (’78) and others. Following the dinner, attendees flocked to the front of the ballroom where the event was being held to dance to the music of Get Back, a Beatles tribute band that also performed at the wedding of donors Mark (’72) and Jennie Famiglio. The Famiglios also underwrote the fireworks display that took place on Feb. 12 outside College Hall.
“I think the dinner was a great success,” third-year and member of the 50th Anniversary planning committee Ryan Keenan said. “The seating was filled to capacity, which is great for the school. It looked like all of the attendees were enjoying the conversation and the dancing! The people at my table were very nice and incredible conversationalists and they were eager to help and to stay in contact with students.”