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The Grand Finale: Newport Ball 2006

Rhode Island is neither a Rhode nor an Island, but it is host to what is arguably the most defining and enduring HBS tradition: The Newport Ball.

For generations of grade non-disclosing HBS students, Newport Ball has served as the traditional end-of-year bash. Hosted at the spectacular OceanCliff Mansion, it is the culmination of a year of learning, loving and.laboring. (Ok, we ran out of “L” words at the end – but you get the point.)

A little history on the spread: Located on 10 acres of rolling lawns with memorable ocean views, OceanCliff offers a truly unique blend of breathtaking beauty, world-class cuisine and a professionally trained staff. OceanCliff Resort occupies the site of the former Bronson Villa, owned by Arthur Bronson of New York. The villa was built in 1864 and was used as a summer residence by the Bronson’s for several seasons. The estate was then sold to Mr. Gaun M. Hutton, a wealthy industrialist, and his wife, when in 1892 the family began construction on the new estate. The estate remained a private summer home until 1954 when it was sold by the Hutton family and was later converted into an oceanfront retreat for hosting lavish parties and society affairs.

“The Ball,” as fellow hoodies like to call it, has always been a wonderful chance for sections and friends to get together one last time in a bucolic setting that has nearly as many gardeners as HBS. This year is no different and plans to be even more special.

This year’s SA Social Committee has made a number of improvements to deliver a better Newport Ball experience. In previous years, students typically came for the Friday party, spent the night at a local hotel and left Saturday morning. This year, the SA has organized a number of local activities, including mansion and winery tours, sailing trips and golfing to provide students an opportunity to explore some of the great activities offered in the Newport area.

Another new feature of this year’s event is the optional section pre-party on the Mansion grounds. Many students were disappointed by the inability to enjoy the scenery because sunset had passed. Sections have the option of hosting their pre-party gatherings on-site in a section-specific, designated area, complete with appetizers and an open bar.

Finally, despite a rise in facility and food costs, the SA Social Committee has been able to lower ticket prices to $115 through sponsorships and HBS Ventures surplus funds. Furthermore, the SA Social Committee negotiated a lower open bar price (25 percent less than in years past) to reduce the cost impact to non-alcohol consuming students. Ticket prices include admission to the Mansion, dinner and dessert, open bar, entertainment and local transportation (between hotels and the Mansion). D.J. Renell Jean (who played at the Halloween party earlier this year) will be making the trip from Boston to keep the dance floor pumping.

Newport Ball 2006 will be once again spread out over two weekends, as the facility is limited to 800 guests: Friday, May 5 (ECs) and Friday, May 12 (RCs). EC tickets are available via //ecnewportball.mollyguard.com and RC tickets are available via //rcnewportball.mollyguard.com. Ticket sales end Wednesday, April 12. All questions should be directed to newportball@gmail.com.

April 10, 2006
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