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A High for Highland Ball

April 29, 2016

The countdown is on: the dresses are chosen, the suits are dry-cleaned, the hair and makeup appointments are booked, and the kilts have arrived. In a matter of days the courtyard, Highlander, and Dining Hall will be transformed into a black tie extravaganza for one of the most anticipated events of the Drew’s social calendar: Highland Ball.

As the first formal event of the year, Highland Ball has a number of aspects that contribute to its hype. However it is not the sparkling lights of the courtyard, the traditional Scottish kilts and sashes, or the flaming Haggis that set this event apart – it’s the return of our beloved alumni.


This year, the alumni’s enthusiasm has overwhelmed the organising committee beyond all expectations. For the first time in history the event has sold out, and weeks before the night at that! With a waiting list of over fifty people, organising this event has been hectic to say the least; nevertheless according to Highland Ball committee member Georgia Nichol: “It’s great that so many people want to come”.

As a current student at Drew’s, I can say that is more than understandable so many ex-residents want to come back and re-live their college glory days. Where else can you drink wine, stand on tables singing at the top of your lungs, and dance the night away with over two hundred of your old housemates? The electric atmosphere created at Highland Ball every year is undoubtedly something that residents crave once they are step out into the big bad world. Whether they are now successful businesspeople or still university scholars, our alumni deserve to come back to the place where ‘flipping’ a fresher’s room is still considered socially acceptable!  According to the committee, the tradition of having alum there is a theme in itself.

This year’s Highland Ball has really been taken to the next level. I was lucky enough to get the chance to sit down with the committee themselves to get the inside scoop:

Will there be anything different happening from last year?

 Well an increase in our budget has enabled us to do a whole bunch of extra things compared to last year, for example we’re going to have a flower wall. It’s a bit secret so I can’t tell you too much but the food has also been taken to the next level.

 Do you have any big goals for the event?

 We really want to leave our mark on Highland Ball, as well as compete with some of the flashy stuff the other college formals such as Paul’s and Women’s are known for. However it’s such a traditional event we didn’t want to mess with it too much – the Scottish theme is really fun and although not everyone has Scottish heritage on the night you can really feel that the college does. So of course we want to make the event big but we do want to stick to tradition.


All second and third year students are eagerly anticipating the return of some of their favourite college heroes, whilst all freshers are wondering what exactly this event will be about. Stay tuned, all will be revealed on Saturday night.

-Hilary Shannon

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