Alicia Collins ‘21
Arts and Entertainment Editor
The Merrimack College Honors Program 3rd Annual Honors Winter Soiree was held on February 7, and according to many of the attendees, it was the best one yet.
Dr. Ellen McWhorter, Director of the Honors Program and Lisa Cavallaro, Associate Director of the Honors Program, along with a few work-study office assistants, were in charge of putting the entire event together. When the event began three years ago it was a way to bring together the entire program for one night every year. That is still the case today.
The soiree includes food, dancing, and just an overall good time for students other members of the campus community involved in the Honors Program. The soiree also has a different theme each year and activities that correspond with those themes. This allows program students, alumni, and faculty to dress to the occasion as well as feel a sense of community no matter who they are in relation to the Honors Program.
However, for the previous two Honors Soiree both Dr. McWhorter and Cavallaro realized that many students were not staying interested in the overall night. The event is a requirement for all Honors Program students however, if undergrad students could not partake in the twenty-one plus activities most undergrad students would stay for dinner but then leave shortly after.
When planning for the third Soiree, Dr. McWhorter and Cavallaro wanted more activities to be there for undergrad students to partake in if they did not just want to eat dinner and dance. This year’s theme was Casino Royal and featured many casino-themed decorations as well as Blackjack, Texas Holdem Poker, and Roulette tables. Upon entering, guests received one thousand dollars worth of “funny money,” which could be exchanged for chips at the tables. Even if guests had no idea how to play the dealers assisted anyone wanting to learn.
By including these table game activities it allowed for both current undergrad students, alumni and faculty to meet each other and understand the network of the entire Honors Program at Merrimack College. The network of Honors Program Alumni grows every year. At this year’s soiree there was a record number of alumni in attendance as well.
With plans to continue the event in the future, the program wants to continue adding activities to promote both communication amongst peers as well as to include a bit of fun during the night. The 3rd Annual Honors Soiree was an overall success and as the program continues to grow with both alumni, faculty, and undergraduate students the event will continue to be a staple for the program.