Mock Convention is just one year away

Mock Con 2016 leaders host documentary viewing to generate hype for next year’s event


Emma Deihle

The student leaders of Washington and Lee Mock Convention 2016, in conjunction with the Alumni Affairs office, premiered a documentary highlighting 25 past mock conventions in Stackhouse Theater last Thursday night.

The documentary, funded by the class of 1953 and narrated by former CBS newsman and W&L alumnus Roger Mudd, served as a tool to generate excitement for the one-year mark to Mock Con. Though there will be several preliminary events celebrating the long-standing university tradition, Convention Weekend 2016 will officially begin next year on Feb. 12.

“Historic footage and photos chronicle everything from balloon drops to the collapse and death of Alvin Barkley, U.S. senator from Kentucky, former vice president and 1956 Democratic candidate, as he completed an impassioned speech to the assembled student body,” Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs Brian Eckert said in a blog post on the W&L website. “The history of Mock Con takes the viewer on a journey through a century [of] American history featuring its key players.”

According to Eckert, Wilson Hallett ‘15 worked with Seth McCormick-Goodheart and Lisa McCown of Special Collections to pull authentic material for the film. Lead writer Joe Faub and Bill Parks, a 1982 alumnus and executive producer at digital media company Dominion Post, managed the project.

The one-year countdown celebration opened with remarks from Executive Director of Alumni Affairs Beau Dudley. Afterward, the 40-minute documentary aired for the first time.

General Chair Andrew McCaffery ’16, said the student leaders of Mock Con have been excited for convention weekend since his freshman year but the documentary and release party will serve as their official introduction to the student body.

McCaffery said he is most looking forward to Spring Kickoff, one of the first Mock Con events to include everyone on campus.

“It should be really exciting to see everybody get together,” McCaffery said. “I do think [Mock Con] is … an important part of everyone’s Washington and Lee experience.”

McCaffery is also proud of the 58 new state chairs that were elected last week. Regional Chair for the South Caroline Bones ’18, said she thinks the documentary was a nice welcome for the newest members of the Mock Con political wing.

“The documentary was a great reminder of what we’re all working toward and how each element comes together so nicely,” Bones said.

David Zekan ‘16, the Louisiana state chair, said he is ready to “make contacts in a state other than [his] home state and recruit a team to research and fundraise.”

Hugh Gooding ’16, said he is most excited to represent his home state of South Carolina.

“From the political perspective, it is exciting because the South Carolina primary is early and Republican candidates fight long and hard in hopes of winning the state and carrying momentum into other Republican heavy-states,” Gooding said. “[Mock Con] is a great representation of the student leadership that is so prevalent at W&L and I am just honored to be a part of it.”

If you would like to purchase the Mock Con documentary, it is available at the W&L bookstore and it will soon air on PBS.