Blue meets green at 2019 Presidential Gala

The Mock Convention gala’s theme was a nod to its sustainability efforts


The Mock Convention Presidential Gala took place in the Student Activities Pavilion. Photo by Emma Derr.

Maggie Hawley

Washington and Lee University sponsored its 27th Mock Convention Presidential Gala on November 9 at the Student Activities Pavilion. 

In an effort to convey the democratic value of environmental sustainability, this year’s theme was “Blue Meets Green.” 

“I thought it was beautiful and well put together,” Sophie Corazza, ‘21, said. “Everyone I talked to loved the decorations.”

The Simply Irresistible band performed onstage during the gala. Photo by Maggie Hawley.

“Blue Meets Green was the brainchild of our Events Chair, Katie Daly,” said General Secretary of Mock Convention 2020, Layne Smith, ‘20. “It’s a play on the Democratic color ‘blue’ and is tied in with our sustainability efforts culminating in this eco-themed gala.”

This year’s Mock Convention team has stated that they are dedicated to being sustainable in all of their events. The Mock Convention website states their commitment to environmental sustainability. 

The website states “Mock Con is dedicated to being sustainable in all respects, from our daily operations to the Convention itself.”

Efforts to continue the “Blue meets Green” theme include glass drives, upcycle dresses, working with local producers and going paperless for the Convention weekend.

The 2019 Presidential Gala is one of Mock Convention’s many events supporting sustainability. Mock Convention’s Logistics Chair, Donald LeCompte, ‘21, spoke to the creativity involved in the Gala’s planning process. 

“Given our theme, we wanted it to feel like we were bringing the outside, inside with the use of floral arrangements and plants,” LeCompte said. “This focus shined in our Beer Garden – we truly made it feel as if people were walking into an outdoor garden when they entered that space.”

“The whole thing was super cool,” Charlie Weeks, ‘21, said. 

A beer garden was available for students ages 21 and older. Photo by Emma Derr.

While the Mock Convention team worked hard to run Gala with an emphasis on environmentalism, it’s purpose was lost on some of the students.  

“Honestly I didn’t really notice that there was a theme,” Eli Samson, ‘23, said. “It was decorated really well but I didn’t get the sense that it was supporting environmental awareness.” 

Other students thought it was a great set up regardless of the theme.

“It looked so classy, and when I saw the before and after pictures, I can’t believe they turned the pavilion into that,” Valerie Puliafico, ‘23, said. “I thought it was amazing.” 

Other efforts towards sustainability included engaging with the Rockbridge community. Of the total Gala ticket sales, $2,000 went to Boxerwood Nature Center in Lexington. 

“Working with Boxerwood is something that allows us to make a tangible, local impact regarding sustainability,” LeCompte said.

Smith said Mock Con locally sourced vendors, limited the use of paper and showcased many plans and flowers for “carbon purposes.” 

The Gala builds anticipation for Washington and Lee’s 27th Mock Convention this February, and this year, was intended to immerse the campus in the democratic value of environmental sustainability. 

Emma Derr contributed to this report.