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Sunday, March 3, 2024
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AU takes over the Natural History Museum for Founders Day Ball

Founders Week culminates in a ball at the Natural History Museum

The most expensive Founders Week to date concluded at the Founders Day Ball at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History on Saturday. Students, staff and administrators gathered to dance the night away under the dinosaur fossils to celebrate 127 years since AU’s founding.

The 117th Founders Day Ball offered 2,500 tickets for students distributed via Eventbrite, the same number of tickets given out last year. The Smithsonian was open for students to roam around the various exhibits, like the Butterfly Pavilion and the Hall of Fossils. 

Freshman Elly Young said that she “didn’t really have any expectations coming into the Ball and kind of forgot that it was happening,” but had a good time. 

Freshman Alyson Shirley said that she “felt like she was in a movie,” referring to the fact that the museum was booked just for AU students to have a ball.

Students were free to explore various parts of the museum, with music and dancing in the Grand Hall. Appetizers and desserts were provided for attendees as well.  

A number of staff and faculty from various departments also attended the event. Consuelo Grier, the director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, said she was very impressed with the Ball as a first-time attendee.  

“I think that all of the organizers have done a phenomenal job of not only organizing, but getting a really good showing of students out here,” Grier said. “It’s in a beautiful space. How lucky we are to have the whole museum to ourselves.” 

In an interview earlier this week, Director of Founders Week Colin Colchamiro talked about the months of preparation that goes into planning Founders Week and the Ball itself. Planning for the next Ball can begin as early as June, he said.

“It’s been really interesting to actually see things come together when we’re actually trying to get as much done as possible,” Colchamiro said. 

A lot of work, time and money goes into the Founders Day Ball, but it continues to be AU’s mainstay tradition to students and staff together for a night of fun celebrating AU. 

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