After a three-year-long absence, the Goucher community is once again holding its annual Gala, this year with an Enchanted Forest theme. A tradition dating back to the 1980s, the event has not been held since the 2019-20 school year due to the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. While historically a winter event, Gala was moved up to Spring semester this year in response to Get Into Goucher (GIG) being held in the fall.
Autumn Custis ’24, a member of the Student Engagement Team (SET) and one of the organizers of Gala, describes it as a formal event for students to “get dressed up.” She noted that as a private school, Goucher is subject to certain expectations, and that Gala is a way of living up to those expectations.
This edition of Gala has special significance for Juniors and Sophomores whose high school prom experiences may have been impacted due to Covid restrictions. Having graduated under quarantine, current Juniors did not get to have a proper high school prom. The continuing restrictions in many parts of the country the following year also denied that opportunity to much of the sophomore class.
Custis, who graduated high school in 2020, says that she cannot wait to finally wear her prom dress. While this year’s Seniors graduated prior to Covid, Custis notes that most of them didn’t attend Gala during their first year, and SET is hoping to help rekindle the nostalgia for them.
This year, all students going to Gala are required to do so through official Goucher transportation due to liability issues, said Custis. While attendees are theoretically allowed to come and go freely, Custis noted that having one system of transportation for everyone could make that more logistically challenging.
Gala has traditionally served alcohol to students over 21, similarly to GIG. However, this year, SET realized that serving alcohol would greatly increase the prices of the tickets. Since most of the campus is under 21, they came to the conclusion that having lower ticket prices was more important, and decided against serving alcohol.
Regarding what to wear, Custis said that it’s expected, but not required, that students wear something formal. For individuals who choose to wear dresses, she recommends a lavender or green floor-length gown, and especially a flowery or woodsy motif to match the Enchanted Forest theme. When it comes to individuals who want a masculine look, she says that one can’t go wrong with a suit, along with button-ups or vests the same colors as the dresses.
Gala will be held on Saturday, May 6 from 8 pm to 12 am at The Grand Baltimore, with shuttle buses leaving campus starting at 7:30. Tickets are $30 can be purchased using cash or Gopher Bucks, and ticketing events were held on April 10-14 from 4-6pm, and another round will be held on the 17-20 from 1-3 pm. If students can’t make it to the in-person ticketing events, online tickets will be given out on a case-by-case basis.
“We’ve put a lot of time and effort into [Gala]”, says Custis, “and we think it’s going to turn out really, really nice.”
Feature image courtesy of SET.