Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

September 13, 1999

Nostalgia in an elegant evening

As the University of Guelph winds down a year of activities celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Ontario Agricultural College, a Heritage Banquet and Ball has been planned for Sept. 25 to create an elegant memory of the anniversary year.

This will be the premier social event of the year, said Mary Lynn McPherson, a 1980 OAC graduate and chair of a committee headed by OAC alumni. Fine dining, entertainment and dancing to a live orchestra will bring back memories for many alumni who enjoyed similar events when they were students at Guelph.

Dancing isn't one of those University traditions that goes back to the founding of OAC in 1874, however. OAC's male students didn't discover how much fun a college dance could be life until after women arrived on campus with the opening of Macdonald Institute in 1904. Complete with long gowns, tuxedos and dance cards, the annual Conversat was the social event of the year until the late 1970s when the University's College Royal committee began its own formal affair. The College Royal Ball thrives today as a campus-wide celebration held in March in conjunction with the student-run open house.

The OAC anniversary committee plans to capture the spirit of those events in the Heritage Banquet and Ball. Festivities get underway at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 25, as a closing event for the University's Homecoming Weekend. In a campus tradition that pre-dates dancing, the Guelph Gryphon football team will host the University of Toronto Blues in a 2 p.m. game in Alumni Stadium.

Football fans can buy a $7 ticket at the gate, but those who come for dining and dancing will need to call ahead. The banquet cost is $75 per person; call 519-824-4120, Ext. 6657 to make your reservation.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 3338

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