The chilly winds whip through Chicago, but inside Harper and MPP the mood is electric. It’s cold outside, but it isn’t all bad. That’s because after a lengthy hiatus, the Booth Winter Formal is once again here. After foregoing this event in 2021 due to covid restrictions, students are once again breaking out their suits and dresses for the signature formal event of the year. Many of us haven’t had an occasion to dress up in anything more formal than business casual since our admissions interviews, and the excitement is palpable. Everywhere you go, students are asking each other about what they’re going to wear and what their plans are for before and after the formal. The Booth student Slack workspace has transformed into a dress and accessories bartering platform, and Boothies are ready for the day to finally be here.
Organized by the Signature Events subcommittee of the Graduate Business Council (GBC), the Winter Formal was held this year at the Field Museum of Natural History in downtown Chicago. The Signature Events committee is responsible for planning the event, both in setting the vision and driving the execution. During the planning process, which kicks off in September, Signature Events team members solicit and negotiate quotes from many venues in Chicago, coordinate with vendors for catering, decor, and entertainment, and work with the Booth Giving Something Back club to organize a charity auction at the event.
This year, the Charity auction raised over $30,000 for three charities, the Metropolitan Family Services, Deborah’s Place, and Connections for Abused Women and their Children. Throughout the auction, Booth students bid on packages like “Three Burly Boothies Make You the Dinner of Your Dreams,” “Drinks for 2 with the Andrews,” and “Soho House with the Starr and Professor Betina.” These packages were donated by students, professors, and local businesses as a way foThis year, the auction raised over $30,000 for three charities: the Metropolitan Family Services, Deborah’s Place, and Connections for Abused Women and their Children. Throughout the auction, Booth students bid on packages like “Three Burly Boothies Make You the Dinner of Your Dreams,” “Drinks for 2 with the Andrews,” and “Soho House with the Starr and Professor Betina”, which invited bidders to enjoy dinner/drinks with Deputy Dean Starr Marcello and Professor Raghu Betina, Clinical Assistant Professor of Operations Management and Entrepreneurship. These packages were donated by students, professors, and local businesses as a way for students to take part in special experiences and spend time with other members of the Booth community, while raising money for great causes. As one of the donors, the Andrews put it, “It felt like an appropriate Booth experiment to use the free market to place a value on a double date with us.”
On the day of the formal, students arrive dressed to the nines. Throughout the night, they were able to eat, drink, dance, take photos, and explore the exhibits at the Field Museum. As one of the first major events to come back fully in-person after the long quarantine, this Winter Formal was a long-awaited experience for both first- and second-year students, and the Signature Events Committee is happy to have been able to deliver this cornerstone business school experience to our student body. Now, we begin the planning process for Spring Formal!