A Crimson Affair fit for a president

by Alicia Reinersman

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The festivities surrounding President Owen Williams’ inauguration came to a grand close at the Crimson Affair held at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Lexington on Friday night. This year, the dance accommodated Transylvania students and the enormity of Williams’ inauguration

According to junior Tiffany Buchanan, the Crimson Affair has traditionally been one of the main events of Alumni Weekend.

“(But this year) it also served as the Inauguration Ball,” Buchanan said.

As the dance was beginning for the multitude of Transy students that attended, Williams was having his celebratory inauguration dinner. This dinner was held in a room adjacent to the one in which the Crimson Affair took place. A large group of Transy faculty and staff and other important figures attended this event and later went to the Crimson Affair.

In another room, graduating Transy seniors gathered for their traditional toast. Many tributes were made by select professors to represent their class. This year, Drs. Ellen Cox, Chris Begley, Jerry Seebach and Angela Hurley and Professor Don Lane offered the upcoming graduates words of advice, comedy and inspiration. In their toasts, the professors melded stories from their personal lives with texts they had taught in class to create their messages.

Cox used Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” to help explain courage. Next, Begley used anecdotes from his family life to describe motivation. Seebach explained his academic history and experience at Transy to demonstrate that success is always a possibility. Then, Hurley made a wish list, but mainly emphasized the importance of living with compassion. Finally, Lane used comedic life stories to lead up to the importance of thanking those that have helped along the way.

After the final glass rose, a mass of students poured into the ballroom where the Crimson Affair was taking place to await the announcement of the Crimson Court.

According to Buchanan, who was also an announcer of the runners-up and winners on the court, every student organization on campus received an invitation to nominate one male and one female student from each class. From these nominations, a list of nominees was then compiled. After a week of voting, the top first-year, sophomore and junior candidates were selected. For the senior class, however, the top four male and female candidates were invited to appear on the court.

While at the Crimson Affair, students were asked to vote again to determine which seniors would be Miss Transylvania and Mr. Pioneer.

The winners of the first-year class were Kimberly Shain and Josiah Knight. The winning sophomores were Charli Fant and Alex Cheser. Daisey Gilpin and Lee Richardson were the winning juniors. Finally, seniors Holly Milburn and Matt Elmore were named Miss Transylvania and Mr. Pioneer.

For Milburn, this accolade was a “wonderful honor” that represents her experience at Transy.

“I really love this school and all the people within it, (and) I’m very humbled to have that love reflected back. (My friends) have played an enormous role in shaping me into the person I am,” Milburn said.

Elmore was also honored, but “really surprised,” he said. For Elmore, winning the Crimson Court signifies the final chapter of his Transy career.

“As a tour guide (in the admissions office) for three years, I’ve told families that Transy definitely has something special about it,” Elmore said. “Whatever that special Transy quality is, that’s what I’ll miss the most.”

Though the Crimson Affair denoted the ending of an undergraduate career for many students, it was also a celebration. Due to the inauguration events, many faculty and staff joined the students and danced to the live band, the Atlanta Allstars. Williams was among the dancers gathered around the band while it played songs like “Proud Mary,” “Old Time Rock and Roll” and “I Gotta Feeling.”

“Not only were (the Atlanta Allstars) superb, but they were able to interact with the audience more and made my overall experience more enjoyable,” said Buchanan.

“It was such a fun night, (and) the band was fabulous,” Milburn said.

Elmore also enjoyed the Crimson Affair.

“It was actually the first one that I’ve attended but I was impressed, (and) a lot of students showed up,” said Elmore.

The Crimson Affair displayed the anticipation and excitement of Transy’s upcoming future.

“It was really nice to see faculty, students and alumni celebrating such a momentous occasion,” Buchanan said.


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