President Tetlow’s First President’s Ball


The annual President’s Ball took place on Sept. 16. (Courtesy of Instagram)

Grace Galbreath, Contributing Writer

The annual President’s Ball took place on  Sept. 16. President’s Ball aims to provide students with  an opportunity to get dressed up and enjoy an evening of fun with their friends on Edward’s Parade. This year, however, for many students the event took on a whole new meaning.

It marked the first time that Fordham’s newly-elected president, Tania Tetlow, hosted the dance and provided an opportunity for students to meet her. Started in 2003 by Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president emeritus, the President’s Ball has remained a very important annual event to bring Fordham students together. The event also celebrates the commencement of Homecoming, a weekend full of events for students and alumni alike. Tetlow honored the age-old tradition started by McShane by hosting her inaugural President’s Ball.

Michael Trerotola, assistant university secretary and special assistant to the president, worked directly with Tetlow, vendors and campus staff to organize the event. Trerotola said  the anticipated outcome of the event was to “give [the students] a chance to have some fun.”

Although leadership has changed since the last President’s Ball, Trerotola said the basic mechanics of the event would remain the same. Students entered into the tent with Tetlow standing out front to greet them, shake hands and take pictures. Under the tent, students were met with a section containing tables and chairs for dining, various food and drinks and a large dance floor equipped with a DJ and flashing strobe lights.

Trerotola was also certain to emphasize the importance of having an event like the President’s Ball, where students are given the opportunity to meet and talk with the president.

According to Trerotola,  it is “an opportunity for a large number of students to say hello to her.” Trerotola also stressed the importance this event held for McShane and affirms that Tetlow feels similarly.

Because it was Tetlow’s first major student-focused event at Fordham, Trerotola and Tetlow planned carefully.

“One of the really important things for her [Tetlow] as she starts is just to meet everyone. We are a pretty big university and there are a lot of people to meet. An opportunity like this, where she can have some interactions with a large number of students is really important because it gives her a sense of who our students are,” said Trerotola.

The event also worked to foster intermingling between Rose Hill and Lincoln Center students. Transportation was provided for Lincoln Center students who wished to attend. For many Lincoln Center students, it served as their first introduction to the Rose Hill campus. Trerotola said the event always “gives a chance for both campuses to be together.”

This year, over 2,000 students RSVPed to the event, a number only slightly lower than the previous year.

Trerotola was sure to mention, however, that many students do not RSVP, and that the total number of expected attendees was to be much higher than the current count.

Among the student body, morale remained high for the event. Molly Ewing, FCRH ’25, said  she was, “super excited to hopefully meet President Tania Tetlow.” Many students also mentioned their eagerness for the event’s music and food.

Carolyn Kennedy, FCRH ’25, was, “looking forward to an on-campus event where everyone felt included.”

Overall, the consensus across campus is that the event was a fun night for all students and Tetlow alike.