Sunday, January 24, 2016

150th Anniversary Harvard Gala

I had the absolute pleasure of attending Harvard’s 150th annual dinner gala at the historic Harvard Club in New York City. It was a surreal, magical experience that is hard to put into words, but I’m certainly going to try… 

Like with all fairytales, it includes a ball gown, dapper date and an evening with all the decadence befitting the Ivy League elite.  

I wore a brilliant off the shoulder floral jacquard high-low ball gown by Cynthia Rowley for this momentous occasion. I’ll never forget walking into the Harvard Club main room and hearing the audible comments about my gown. I felt like Cinderella in every sense of the word, and it was thrilling to know that I had chosen the right gown. 

Adam Kaplan, a Harvard grad that I had met a few days earlier through mutual friends had invited me to the Harvard gala. Adam was equally well dressed in his black and white suit, bow tie and matching pocket square. We looked like the King and Queen of the Harvard gala that evening. 

The Harvard Club of New York, the city’s most exclusive private club, is located in the heart of midtown Manhattan. Opened in 1894, the original three-story Neo-Georgian landmark preserves Harvard’s traditions and timeless legacy. 

It was such a magical experience walking into the Harvard Hall, with its splendid three-story, floor-to ceiling windows and dark Mahogany paneling, all so rich in history. Here guests enjoyed a pre-dinner reception filled with all the appetizers one could possibly dream of. 

I literally had to take a minute to stop and appreciate this moment. There’s been so much going on in my life so it’s been really hard to just live in the moment. At that moment however, I realized that nothing really matters but truly being present and just enjoying everything. Life is all about the memories, and I’ve always intended to make mine as epic as possible!

My society dream team included: Daniel Kaplan, Summer Rose, and of course Adam Kaplan. I was so lucky to share this special evening with such incredibly smart and fun people! 

One of my favorite decorations was the Harvard sculpture which had a Latin inscription of ‘Veritas’ written in the middle, which means ‘truth, kindness beauty’. It's the motto Harvard University!

The foodie in me couldn’t resist attempting to indulge in the sushi table which looked so incredibly delicious! Unfortunately I never had a chance to try it as my plate got mistakenly taken away when I went to take photos. 

Fortunately for me, the dinner call was being made for guests to take their seats in the main dining room! The elegant main dining room enjoys a long history as a warm and inviting setting for an unforgettable meal. I couldn’t help but gawk in awe at the décor, which included golden chandeliers and taxidermy on the walls. 

Appetizer included: Maine lobster with lemon-caviar vinaigrette accompanied with a Jean-Luc Colombo wine. It looked so pretty that I almost didn’t want to touch it! I was quite hungry so that feeling quickly dispelled! ;)

Dinner included: Roast rack of lamb with potato pavé, bouquet of vegetables, sauce périgourdine and accompanied with a Colchagua Valley wine from Chile.

Here’s a look at the view from my seat at the table. It was incredibly surreal to be breaking bread with some of the most brilliant, powerful Harvard minds. 

A lovely presentation from some of the most notable Harvard alumni commenced during dinner.

The later part of the presentation was focused on the future of digital. It was so exciting to hear their thoughts on the future of the digital business and its alignment with Harvard. 

I had the extraordinary opportunity to sing along the Fair Harvard song at the 150th Harvard Gala. Composed by the Reverend Samuel Gilman of the class of 1811 for the university's 200th anniversary in 1836, it bids the school an affectionate farewell.  

After dinner we couldn’t resist to document the momentous occasion with a few fun photos! Here is one of my favorites with Daniel and Summer.  

Of course I had to get a picture with the Harvard twins of the evening, Adam and Daniel. How cute were their matching suits?!

I felt like a Princess in my Cynthia Rowley dress, and it’s a feeling that I think every girl experiences when they wear her exquisite dresses. My only regret was not taking enough photos that evening!

Following dinner, a dessert extravaganza commenced in the Harvard Hall with music and dancing! It was truly a celebration befitting the Harvard elite! I wish I could have stayed for the dancing part, but this Cinderella had to run home. 

But of course before I left I most certainly indulged in a few of the yummy desserts!

As I was walking to take my coat I couldn’t resist stopping by the fireplace. Clearly I got a little too excited about a warm fire, but can you believe blame me? It's so cold outside! 

I took one last iconic photo of the evening, which was on top of the Harvard Club staircase. There is something so incredibly romantic about walking down a staircase in a ball gown, and more so at the Harvard Club! I was so happy that I chose this rose colored Cynthia Rowley gown for the evening.

It was the most befitting look, not only did it fit so well, but it also matched the Harvard décor perfectly! How's that for fashion fate?!

Thank you Adam for graciously extending the invitation to Harvard’s 150th Anniversary gala. I had the most phenomenal time sharing this with you, Summer, Daniel and friends! 

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