HUNTINGTON, IN JANUARY 24, 1997 --- From 1920 through 1967, Huntington College's Washington Day Banquet was the big social event of the year, a must-do event for the entire College community — students, faculty, staff, alumni, family and friends. Now, after 30 years, the banquet is back.
On Saturday, February 22, 1997, the community is cordially invited to the Washington Day Banquet, a tradition revived especially for Huntington College's centennial celebration.
The semi-formal dinner will include a presentation by historic interpreter William A. Sommerfield, artistic director of the American Historical Theatre in Philadelphia. The Emmy-award winning Sommerfield will draw from his long experience personifying George Washington, including serving as the "official Washington" during the U.S. Bicentennial.
Many College alumni fondly remember the banquets of earlier days. "We all looked forward to putting on our best clothes and participating in the program," says Helen Kreiger Ziegler of the Class of 1941. Ziegler is a member of HC's alumni board and is organizing the banquet's revival. She recalls that the function included dinner at a fashionable location, often the Hotel LaFontaine. The evening's address always centered on President Washington, his leadership, and Christian statesmanship.
In some years, a costumed George and Martha Washington would greet and mingle with guests. Huntington College math professor Dr. Francis Jones played Washington in 1966, when he was a senior at the College. Mrs. Washington was portrayed by Pat Brumfiel, foreshadowing a real-life marriage that has now spanned three decades. While Francis will again escort Pat to this year's Washington Banquet, neither will be in historical dress. Dr. Jones says he is both pleased and relieved that Sommerfield will wear the traditional powdered wig this year.
"This tradition is one which merits reviving," says Ziegler. "We are hoping that alumni will want to relive their Washington Day Banquet experience, and we're planning to provide those new to the tradition with an equally memorable evening."
The suit-and-tie banquet will take place in the Habecker Dining Commons on Saturday, February 22, 1997. A reception will begin at 6:30, followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Reservations are required. Both alumni and the general public may order tickets by sending a check or money order for $12 per guest, along with a self-addressed stamped envelope, to the attention of Linda Taylor, Office of Alumni Relations, Huntington College, 2303 College Avenue, Huntington, IN 46750. For further information, call (260) 359-4047.
The Washington Day Banquet is the next in a series of special observances of Huntington College's centennial. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington College offers high-quality academic programs "to equip men and women to impact our world for Christ." Located on a contemporary, wooded campus in Huntington, Indiana, the four-year liberal arts college offers graduate and undergraduate programs in nearly 50 academic concentrations.
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