By Julianna Mauriello
Arts & Entertainment Editor
On Friday, Sept. 9, Dr. John J. Petillo of Sacred Heart University hosted his sixth annual President’s Gala.
This event originated back in 2010 to celebrate the inauguration of our university president, Dr. Petillo. The first President’s Gala was such a success that the gala has now become an annual event.
“It was the first time I’ve gone, so I didn’t know what to expect, but it was such a fun event that I definitely regret not going the past two years,” said junior Baylee Kelly.
Upon entrance to the gala, students were greeted by president Petillo himself with a firm handshake and if you were wearing his signature bowtie, a picture. Students gathered in crowds before entering the event just to take the famous Petillo selfie.
The gala served hors d’oeuvres, hired a live DJ, and included a cash bar area for students 21 and over.
It is often the first chance that students have to reunite with friends and classmates after moving back in for the start of the academic year.
“It was great seeing the Sacred Heart community come together to celebrate the beginning of the new school year,” said sophomore Danny Elia. “The energy in the room was electric.”
Students united through dancing and singing to current popular songs such as “Closer” by The Chainsmokers and throwbacks such as “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne.
However, some students found this year’s gala to be more nostalgic than others.
“There is no better way to start off senior year than at the gala,” said senior class president, Teresa Fletcher. “This year may be our last year, but the event just goes to show it will be a great one because home really is where the [Sacred] heart is.”
Throughout the event, president Petillo and faculty walked throughout the tent and mingled with students. Not only is the President’s Gala an event for students to reunite, but it is an event to gather community as a whole.
The event took place from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. in a tent pitched outside the William H. Pitt Center with a record number of students in attendance from start to finish.
“The event was so crowded, it was as if the whole school was having fun under that one tent,” said junior Manuela Contreras.
Though the tent space was large enough to cover the grounds of a parking lot, still the entire student body could not fit in. The event had a waitlist for student entry that was three pages long.
“This year we reached our maximum capacity on the event. I think that really goes to show how popular the gala has become at Sacred Heart and just how much adoration Dr. Petillo has for all the students for him to continue hosting something like this,” said student body president, Addison Chau.