The night started off with casual conversation as both students and faculty made their way to the Lower Hangar. The etiquette dinner hosted annually by the Student Alumni Association was held on Feb. 21. As in years past, students were able to converse with deans and professors in a formal setting to practice proper formal business behaviors.
Shortly before 7 p.m., the guests started to make their way to their tables as the evening events were soon to begin. Once everyone was seated, both Dr. Frank Ayers and Bill Thompson gave opening speeches, welcoming all the guests and set the mood for the evening.
The first course of the dinner,a light salad, was shortly brought out and everyone started to talk and learn more about other guests at the table. Later it would be discovered that this was the only part of the meal that would be easy to eat. Toward the end of the first course, Colonel Fred Cone gave an introduction on introductions, which covered code of conduct for meeting new people.
While the second course was brought out, Thompson asked everyone if anyone had given their 30 second speech or elevator speech during the first course. He reminded the guests that often times that short introduction of yourself could be all that was needed to score a job interview or make a major sale. “Once while on an airplane, I was seated next to the couple in charge of the largest swing dance competitions in the country and was given free tickets to attend.” commented Katie Sonntag. It just goes to show that opportunities will present themselves at any time and it pays to be prepared.
The third course, spaghetti, was everyone’s worst etiquette nightmare. However, according to Thompson, the more important reasons to never order spaghetti is it is typically the cheapest item on the menu and can belittle your value in another’s opinion.
By this point in time most of the tables have settled down and conversation became much more relaxed. Everyone really started to get to know the others around them; as Thompson said, “This is where the business happens, not so much the eating.”
The evening concluded with the Alumni Relations student employees modeling what and what not to wear, including Andrew McIntyre in his $8 suit. The evening dinner wound down as the events came to a close. After thanking the hosts, the night concluded of a wonderful, enlightening time had by all.