Ah Green and Gold Affair. Around this time four years ago, William and Mary hosted its first Green and Gold Affair, a campus-wide formal that a good friend and I started my freshman year. At the time, we didn’t know what we were working towards. I liked event planning and wanted to unite the various sects of campus. He was the treasurer for the junior class and knew how hard it was for different organizations to raise the types of funds they needed or wanted for various projects. After many late night meetings on the terrace comprised of us discussing what to do, we came up with today’s Green and Gold Affair. The truth is that we originally named the event Ball in the Fall (yikes!) and after I watched an episode of the Hills where the girls hosted A Black and White Affair (I promise it wasn’t as scripted then as it is now), Denis and I decided to rename ours the Green and Gold Affair. Definitely more classy right?
Planning was tough but Denis Beausejour ’07, the co-founder of Green and Gold, was who got me through it all. We were a great team – when one of us was stressed out and venting that the dance would never come to fruition, the other would be right there to ensure that we were calm, focused, and knew it was possible. We created an organization (Green and Gold Affair) whose purpose would be to put on this dance, our way of ensuring that it remained a non-biased organization. We looked for seed money – applying for funding from the school. We found three other students – Krystal Keeley, Anne Lefeve, and Colleen Murray to work with us – organizing decorations, catering, the florist, security, organization sign-ups, ticket sales, etc.
We were really frugal our first year – we had a band that played for free as a means of trying to gain exposure, minimal decorations, no ticket takers, etc – so that we could ensure we’d have enough money to give back to campus organizations. We were shameless with ticket sales that year – going into the delis at night or to Swem during the day to make sure everyone we knew (and even those we didn’t) were buying tickets.
Our event has really transformed over the years into a spectacular event but our mission has remained the same. With every $10 ticket sold to the dance, $5 of it is donated back to any participating organization that the buyer selects. We try to have a diverse showing of campus organizations and every year the list includes varsity and club sport teams, religious organizations, service trips, Greek philanthropies, and multicultural organizations. The other half of the ticket price goes to fund the dance, which includes a live band and DJ, catered food, and cash bars. Over the past four years, we’ve raised over $35,000 in ticket sales and returned about $20,000 to campus organizations.
This recent Green and Gold was my last as a student and member of the team. Both of my brothers came to visit for the occasion – my oldest brother Josh flying up from Florida with his girlfriend and my other brother Daniel (also a WM alum!) driving down from DC – which made it even more special for me. It’s been truly amazing to see the effects of Denis’ and my hard work as this event has transformed from a mere “crazy” idea into a campus tradition. G&G Affair serves as a constant reminder that the possibilities at this College are limitless and that the our community will support you in making your dreams a reality. While I’m sad to let go of the event, I’m incredibly excited about our new team and know that they will continue to improve and perfect it. If you see Carolyn Sloan, Kristin Rhodes, Liz Purvis, Jake Wolfe, KC Maloney, Sarah Hwang, Giselle Hundley, Caitlin Kenney, or Shannon Bryan, be sure to thank them for their hard work. Without them, this would not be possible.