Over 2,500 Fairfield University students dressed to the nines and flooded the Bellarmine Hall lawn for the 15th annual Presidential Ball, ready to celebrate a night under the stars on Friday Sept. 28, 2018. Upon arrival, students had the opportunity to take a photo with President Mark R. Nemec, Ph.D. and his wife, Suzanne Nemec, before entering the white tents where they were greeted by food options ranging from chips and salsa to mini-sliders. The Nemecs were scheduled to take photos with students until 9:00 p.m.. However, so many students were waiting patiently that photos did not end until 9:45 p.m.
Minutes before the clock struck 10 p.m., Fairfield University Student Association President Danielle Rice ‘19 took to the stage to welcome everyone and encouraged every student to have a safe and fun night. The hanging stars from the ceiling glistened as the DJ circled various color strobe lights around the tent. As each minute passed, more students gathered on the dance floor to celebrate a successful first few weeks of school and dance to some of today’s most popular songs, with throwback mixes every few tracks.
This year, 2,800 tickets were purchased by University students, which would have had the Pres Ball tent at capacity, and no guest tickets were sold. 2,535 of those students’ tickets were scanned at the event. The ticket prices were $25 for upperclassmen and $30 for underclassmen.
Last year’s Pres Ball had a lower student turnout. There were only 2,605 tickets sold, and only 1,838 of those were scanned, approximately 700 fewer than at this year’s Pres Ball.
“I think that Pres Ball was an incredible success,” director of FUSA programming Olivia McEvoy ‘19 said, “I think that many people enjoyed the evening’s theme, the variety of food options and the music. The traditional programmers, as well as our partners at Groove Boston, have been working so hard to make this event even more unique and memorable for the students. I think they all went above and beyond. They helped make so many dreams a reality, including putting stars on the ceiling!”
With this only being President Nemec’s second year hosting the Fairfield tradition, students may have noticed some differences in this year’s Pres Ball.
“Some changes were made to make sure there was more food and seating, and I think this made a big difference in student enjoyment,” McEvoy commented. “Plus, I feel that everyone really enjoyed the DJ’s set, which helped keep the energy up throughout the night.”
Whether this was a student’s first year attending the Pres Ball, or their last, it was overall a night of celebration for everyone.
“I personally enjoy Prez Ball because I get to dress up and just have a good time with my friends,” says Meghan Cusack ‘21.
“During the event and in the days following, I have had people coming up to me telling me that they think this Pres Ball was the best they had been to so far. That’s really exciting for me, not only because I know how hard my team has worked in preparation for the event, but also because that means everyone is starting the year on such a high note,” McEvoy mentioned. “I can’t wait to see what is to come!”

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