Dean Bruce Magid, at the outset of the Gala, elaborated on this unique global reach, a philosophy predicated on forming a distinctive international community that prepares students for real-world success.
“Our goal here at Brandeis IBS is to look for special people from all over the world and form a community that launches your careers and transforms your lives,” he said. “This first annual Global Gala is an event you will look back on fondly - having been part of the launch of such an important event.”
SLIDESHOW: GLOBAL GALA
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Brandeis IBS has typically celebrated each cultural event individually, dotting the annual calendar with marquee celebrations such as Diwali, Lunar New Year and La Latinada.
In November, that changed.
Kate Goldfield, Associate Dean of the Office of Administration and Student Services, noted how the shift to one vast cultural celebration proved to be a new—but necessary—step.
“What we’ve done in the past is to celebrate [events] individually,” she said. “However, we put our heads together and wanted to try something new. From what I can see here right now, this will be an annual tradition. It is an outstanding illustration of who we are.”
Faculty and students packed in to Levin for a cultural display previously unseen at Brandeis IBS.
Goldfield, after providing her opening remarks, sounded her iconic gong to ring in the first-ever Global Gala. The pressure was on. Yet, the assortment of Brandeis IBS students who performed stepped up to the plate.
After an impressive opening slide show from Christopher Johnson,—Associate Director of Administration and Student Services—the show began.
Yiran Mimi Li opened the set list with several traditional Chinese songs, and from there, Leon Spitserev followed with two original rhythm and blues compositions.
The members of the Indian Bollywood Dance then took center stage, bringing the crowd to its feet. A wide array of musical accompaniments from Pakistan, India and Afghanistan followed suit.
After a stirring bachata and salsa dance from Radina Arnaudova and Raffi Garcia, the African Business Club gathered together to stage the African Fusion Dance.
The conclusion of the ceremony, though, caught most of the audience by surprise. The Brandeis IBS Leadership Fellows—and the coordinators for the event—staged an “Evolution of Dance” routine, choreographing to the likes of “Thriller” by Michael Jackson and “Gangnam Style” by Psy.
Students and faculty could hardly believe it.
Then, in line with the brand-new event, the planning committee assembled the first-ever Brandeis IBS fashion show. Each of the participants strolled down the catwalk, featuring the garb and flags of their home nations.
The “Olympic Village” was on display for all to see—even at the Taste of the World Dinner following the show, which featured cuisines from India, Africa, China, Latin America, and the Mediterranean.
The Global Gala, according to Goldfield, proved to “represent our best efforts at demonstrating shared respect, prized connections and global diversity.”
The Gala looks to be a prominent aspect of this community for years to come.