School preps for Inaugural Ball

The University has yet to hear if presidential nominees Barack Obama or John McCain will attend the fifth GW Inaugural Ball, but students can be sure at least one president will be there.

University President Steven Knapp will host the dance on the evening of the Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 20 at the swanky Omni-Shoreham Hotel. The ball became a GW tradition in 1993 with the swearing in of former President Bill Clinton and is one of many similar parties held across the District. In 2004, more than 4,000 people attended the event.

Tickets are on sale for $85 until midnight on Election Day at the Marvin Center TicketMaster. Post-Election Day tickets are $100. Students can pay using cash, check, charge or Colonial Cash.

“We are in a state of transition in regards to the presidential election,” Knapp said at the Board of Trustees meeting last month. “Students have the opportunity to partake in the election cycle during their career at GW. Whatever field they may be involved in, there is an atmosphere of excitement around the election at GW.”

Besides the president-elect, the invite list also includes members of Congress, the incoming executive administration, U.S. ambassadors, GW students, faculty, alumni, family members, media and benefactors of the University.

Live bands and televised Inauguration Day footage will be featured at the ball.

GW is searching for student talent to perform at the event. Students may apply by filling out a form located on the Inaugural Ball information page on GW’s Web site.

Black tie attire is preferred, but not required. Women are encouraged to wear cocktail dresses or ball gowns and men may wear dark suits or tuxedoes.

The University is promoting the clothing company Men’s Wearhouse, which will be on campus Dec. 2 and 3 to provide discounted tuxedos for rent.

Many students said they are excited about the ball even if their preferred candidate loses on Tuesday.

“Events like this is why you would come to D.C. You can’t get stuff like this anywhere else,” sophomore Keenan Marshall said. “I am still going to go, even if my candidate doesn’t win, because it would be a wasted opportunity if I didn’t go.”

Sophomore Kate Byom said she hopes the Democratic presidential nominee will make an appearance.

“Going to the ball would be the experience of a lifetime,” Byom said. “I would die if Obama showed up to the ball. I really hope he shows up. This is why I decided to come to GW.”

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.