Ferris alumni, parents, professors, students, and community members attended the annual Hospitality program gala on Feb. 27.
The event took place in the University Center ballroom and according to hospitality professor and program coordinator and Gala director Julie Doyle, the Gala was the first big event to take place there.
“We are very excited to be here at the new University Center,” Doyle said at the event. “We are the first big event, so that had its challenges and opportunities. We are finding that this is a beautiful facility to have this event in,” Doyle said.
According to gala student manager and Public Relations junior Jordan House, the Gala is the main fundraiser for the program, raising money for academic scholarships and conference travel expenses.
“The annual gala is for the Hospitality Management program to put their skills together and gain experience with hosting the largest event of the semester for the program,” House said.
Guests were treated with a valet, coat check, live music, a five-course meal, and a silent and live auction.
“This event allows students to work together and host an extravagant event for alumni and community members,” House said.
According to Hospitality senior Garrett Taylor, many different students and programs at Ferris such as the welding department and the Kendall College of Art and Design have had their hand in making the gala happen.
“The gala is outstanding,” hospitality director and professor Julie Doyle said. “We have over 170 students involved from the university, most of them from our program. It is a collaborative effort that we’ve done with different programs across campus in terms with the welding department to help us with the gears and other decorations to help with the Steampunk Victorian theme.”
According to House, approximately 300 guests attended the gala, proving to be a large success.
“We have solicited over $37,000 worth of silent auction items and all of those dollars then come back to the program to help better students in their education,” Doyle said.
The student workers enjoy the valuable hands-on experience of the event in addition to what they learn in class.
“The gala gives us a feel of what we will be doing in our field and what an event is like,” hospitality management Clair Wolfe said. “It also gives us a feel for all of the different departments that need to work together.”
Student theme and decor manager and resort management senior Laina Plocharczyk agreed with Wolfe and was very happy with the result of the event.
“This is pretty much my entire degree,” Plocharczyk said. “I am getting the experience and networking with people that I need. Tonight is going as planned and I am happy with the turn out.”