AU ball celebrates Kerwin, founding

AU ball celebrates Kerwin, founding
BALLIN' - Members of the AU community gather at the Italian Embassy Friday night to honor President Kerwin's inauguration and Founders' Day.

Student Government President Joe Vidulich toasted AU President Neil Kerwin and the university's 115th anniversary at the combined Inauguration Celebration and Founders' Day Ball Friday at the Italian Embassy.

Approximately 1,250 people attended the sold-out event on the embassy's first floor. The university provided a free shuttle service between Bender Arena, where most people checked in, and the embassy site on Embassy Row. A coat check and an additional check-in desk were available in a tent in front of the embassy.

Inside of the event, there was an open bar with beer, wine and champagne for partygoers over 21 years old as well as other drinks for everyone. There were also hors d'oeuvres, desserts and an espresso bar at the event.

The music group Sound Nation provided music during part of the ball, while a DJ played music during the other part of the night.

Generally, bartenders at the event determined whether people were eligible to drink based on a stamp they received after checking in, said Founders' Week Director Bettina Sferrino.

"There were a couple times when they asked to see identification if someone's handstamp had washed off," she said.

Bartenders at the event stopped serving alcohol prior to the end of the event, which is a standard practice, Sferrino said.

"We hadn't set a time to stop alcohol service beforehand," she said. "People in the president's office and [Vidulich] made the decision that day."

There were no major incidents at the embassy site during the ball, Sferrino said.

"As far as I know, things went really well," she said.

Natalie Grimé, a 2006 graduate from the College of Arts and Sciences' master's program, said she enjoyed the event.

"It's very beautiful, elegant," she said. "It's very Italian, very beautiful. It's a fitting place to celebrate Dr. Kerwin's inauguration."

Grimé said she enjoyed the fact that people from different parts of the AU community attended the ball.

"Everybody's here," she said. "It's good to see so many different faces"

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