Illinois Wesleyan announces the fifth annual Unity Gala

By Farah Bassyouni Feb 17, 2023

Illinois Wesleyan is hosting the 5th Annual Unity Gala on March 4, 2023. The event is sponsored by the Student Senate (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Commissioner and co-commissioner) and the Alliance.

The university announced the date and time, with jazz hour and cocktails and hor d’oeuvres starting at 7:00 p.m. and dancing starting at 9:00 p.m. until midnight. The gala will take place in the Hansen Student Center.

The Unity Gala is a formal event (black tie encouraged) that celebrates Illinois Wesleyan’s diverse campus community. Over the past few years, the Unity Gala has brought together more than 400 students, faculty, staff and alumni who walked the red carpet in a night of dancing and celebration.

The Unity Gala was developed to provide a place for everyone on campus to come together and celebrate diversity. 

“There was a red carpet when you entered Hansen Student Center, shimmering column chandeliers, a jazz band, tasty appetizers and a dance floor,” said alumni Kalen Gray who at

tended the first ever Unity Gala. “Men in suits and ties and women in their finest dresses and gowns were spread throughout the event, moving from person to person expressing their admiration for one another.”

The event also helped support the Black Faculty and Staff Association at the time and support student financial aid. The Alliance assists current IWU students with mentoring and nominal financial needs. 

“There was a palpable sense of community during the event. Being able to see faculty and staff in their best attire and away from the confines of a classroom or office was quite amusing,” said Gray.  

“It’s also great to see the excitement among our first-year students and sophomores who didn’t get to experience the event last year due to the pandemic,” said Brown-Ajayi about last year’s Unity Gala, which was the first to happen since the pandemic. 

Ahead of the Gala, ODI held a fashion drive to ensure every student had access to formal wear and could attend the event in style. Students are encouraged to dress in formal black tie, and bring their ID if they are eligible to drink. 

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