Inaugural UM Graduate Gala Acknowledges Grad Students’ Hard Work

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On Friday, April 14, the University of Mississippi Graduate Student Council held its inaugural Graduate Gala at the Lyric on the Square. All graduate students in all departments across campus were invited to attend and encouraged to bring a guest. 

gala-snacks“Other graduate-level disciplines on campus, such as the law school and the pharmacy school, have annual formal events for their students,” said Shelby Peranich, Graduate Student Council director of social and philanthropic affairs. “I felt that it was important for the graduate school to establish such an event. Graduate students work extremely hard and contribute great research to the University of Mississippi; it was about time that we give them an event that allows them to let loose and have fun.”

The gala began at 8 p.m., but as with most similar events, the crowd began to arrive 30 minutes later. Walking in the door of the Lyric, guests were welcomed by a representative of the Graduate Student Council. Next, they were ushered to the photo area where they met local photographer Joey Brent who helped to give the night a prom feel by photographing couples and groups of friends. 

After the fun moments captured at the photo area, guests finally arrived inside the Graduate Gala. The Graduate School Student Council had transformed the normal bar at the entrance into a feast of snacks, including giant cheese cubes, meats, vegetables, sweets and an assortment of dips. 

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Graduate School Council Gala attendees: Ashley Kerbel, Shelby Peranich, Bjad Almutairy, Alex Vasios-Sivvopoulos, Peter Ogunniran, Jeremy Scruggs, Joshua Bell and Chris Brandt. Photo courtesy of Shelby Peranich

Further into the room, couples lounged around tables that were decorated with large balloon centerpieces. Groups of guests stood near the bars on both sides of the dance floor, which were serving up liquid courage to those that had not ventured onto the dance floor yet. 

Amidst all this, most of the guests were drawn to the middle of the floor just below the DJ who was centerstage. The DJ was a hit with the crowd with his perfect way of playing popular songs from today while adding in songs that brought everyone back to their high school dances. 

As with all good things, the event had to come to an end. Near midnight, the guests began to trickle out the door, some headed home and some searching for another location on the Square to continue their night. All in all, the inaugural Graduate Gala was a huge success and a well-deserved night of fun for the graduate students on campus. 


Amy Goodin is a writer for HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at argoodin12@gmail.com.

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