The Oakland Post

OU goes back to the ‘20s for this year’s Meadow Brook Ball

Jessica Leydet, Staff Intern

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This year’s Meadow Brook Ball, “An Evening at Gatsby’s,” gave guests the chance to fully immerse themselves into the lavish lifestyle of the 1920s, a time when “a little party never killed nobody.”

This year’s Ball also marked the first time the president of the university has been in attendance, and Oakland University President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz said she had a great time.  

“I was incredibly impressed with the organization of the Ball—everything from the extraordinary decorations, the amazing food displays, the wonderful entertainment, including the dance lessons, the face painting, the tarot card reader, the games in the game room,” she said. “I was struck by the red carpet gowns and tuxes that came straight from ‘The Great Gatsby’ era—the entire evening was elegant and exceptional, and it was an absolutely fabulous evening.”

The entire hall was decked out in gold and black art decor, and most of the guests dressed for the theme by wearing flapper-esque attire or full suits with suspenders and bow ties. The ‘20s theme was particularly appropriate because the hall was built between 1926 and 1929 by Matilda Dodge Wilson and her second husband, lumber broker Alfred G. Wilson.

Pescovitz said she enjoyed herself so much, she hopes to get an invitation again next year because she loves spending time with students of the university.

“Although Meadow Brook Hall is a tremendous asset, the greatest asset of all is our wonderful group of students,” she said.

Jean Ann Miller, director for the Center for Student Activities and Leadership Development, said if it weren’t for the students who put so much work into planning it, or in preparing to attend, it wouldn’t be nearly as great as it is. Miller said that the ball has come a very long way since her time here at OU.

“It started off where they would have one ball in the fall and one in the winter, but then we decided to hold it back to back [Friday and Saturday] in the same weekend,” she said. “But since then, in the past couple of years we’ve switched to doing two Saturdays because it is more easy for students to make time to get ready in case they have a Friday class or work.”

In years past, themes ranged from, “Tropical Paradise” in 2004 to “Red Carpet Affair” in 2011, but no matter the theme, the ball has always been a bucket list event for OU students to attend before graduation.

“People take this event pretty seriously, and it is far more sophisticated,” Miller said. “There was even a marriage proposal at the ball in the past, and I remember because I was invited to the wedding!”

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