We are extremely happy to help colleges and universities celebrate the inauguration of a new president, making sure that their special day is perfect and unforgettable. Mount Holyoke recently inaugurated President Sonya Stephens, and we were excited to assist the college's planning committee with an event that highlights the wonderful effects President Stephens' position will have.
We began in June, when we had the opportunity to pull the logistics of five events together for this two-day event at the end of September, where Mount Holyoke showcased its renovated Community Center and Dining Commons, hosted panels on sustainability, provided a community lunch for guests and students to mingle, and, of course, inaugurated President Stephens with a formal ceremony and celebration gala. With all the moving parts, dedicated staff from both Mount Holyoke and Corinthian Events made sure the details were in place for a spectacular time.
The first event took place on a Friday evening at a reception in the recently renovated Community Center, a modern facility for students to dine, study and share together. This event required detailed setup and breakdown logistics to make sure that the space was available for student access whenever possible and ready for use early the following morning. The purpose of this event was to showcase the updated space and new state of the art lighting. Our floor plan that allowed guests to explore the different areas and offer the best place for a speaking program. Décor was subtle and modest, complementing the vibrant colors within the Community Center.
The next morning, panels on community and sustainability – two of Mount Holyoke's greatest focuses – took place in the Gamble Auditorium. The theater received a makeover with furniture and greenery to make the space feel more inviting to guests and speakers.
Then a community lunch gathered hundreds under a massive party tent where guests and students mingled and played lawn games among the picnic décor.
The grand finale, of course, was the inauguration, which transformed the field house into a theater where the President was honored for her hard work already done, as well as what's to come. Floor to ceiling drapery, up-lighting, an LED backdrop and I-mag screens showing speakers and student performers are just a few of the pieces that enhanced the space for the prestigious ceremony. This piece required the most attention to detail as musicians were cued and the processional led. Each part of this ceremony had to be dignified and purposeful, and required a great deal of teamwork and collaboration.
The President's celebration continued with the gala, a 19th-century French literature and culture theme in honor of her favorite subject and center of her extensive studies. Everything from the furniture, to the food, to the music captured this theme.
Guests and speakers were transported smoothly via golf carts to the gala, where several speakers were supported by a team of lighting, sound, music and presentation experts that rounded out a seamless event.
General Sessions can sometimes be the same old, same old but it doesn't have to be. Why not add a creative twist to it? That's what we did for a healthcare client who hosted their opening session at the Hynes Convention Center last month. This client had one request, to portray the talented musicians of Boston at their event, so of course we did just that!
The doors opened and the notes of local performer Rhett Price, a violinist that performs with a live DJ, filled the Hall as guest entered the space. This duo gave a vibrant performance to start off the morning.
As guests found their seats, we had a historic Fife & Drum with (2) Color Guards lead the processional of the Board Members into the Hall. This sound added a whole new element to the General Session opening! After the Board Members entrance, Rhett took the stage for a second time and performed 'Hand Clap' by Fitz & the Tantrums as the President of the company walked in. This catchy beat was the Presidents favorite song and a fun surprise for him! The fife & drum then presented the colors on the stage, and everyone stood to hear the singing of the National Anthem.
The program continued smoothly but we didn't want the musical touches to end there. Rhett Price took the stage for a third time for 5-minute interlude. This was to signal the transition from the awards to the education segment. Once the session ended, (2) bag pipers led the board members to the adjacent Hall where they performed the official ribbon cutting and opened the trade show floor.
Integrating the musical entertainment added variety to what would have been just another General Session opening!
Check out the talented sounds of Rhett Price at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4qtJcPmW8Q