A banquet for students, by students

The College of Business and Global Affairs (CBGA) honors banquet is a student-focused awards dinner and ceremony that is held to recognize excellence in undergraduate, as well as graduate, student involvement and academic performance. Student scholarship award winners are recognized for various reasons, including, but not limited to, academic achievements.

This banquet, like many others held throughout different departments on campus, aim to honor students who excel based on their personalities, academic achievements and other involvement. However, this banquet is somewhat different than other banquets across campus.

Dr. Ashley Kilburn along with her event planning class (Marketing 377) work with the faculty/student committee, chaired by Dr. Cooper Johnson, and also with Dean Ross Dickens and his administrative assistant Teena Bynum to organize, decorate and carry out this banquet.

This year will be the fifth year that Kilburn’s class has been assisting in the preparation of the banquet. Kilburn designs this as a mandatory part of her class to give students hands-on experience in real-life event planning.

Kilburn divides her class into seven different groups based upon what each of them desires to do before, during or after the banquet. Each group consists of four to six students. The duties assigned range from loading in/out to choosing the food that will be served at the banquet.

“I want to be an event/wedding coordinator when I graduate, and by doing this banquet I am able to learn some of the key aspects that you have to include when planning an event that you often would not think of. Planning an event whether corporate or for a wedding can be extremely stressful. Each team has to work together for the event to be successful. This helps each of us learn to work together not only within our groups, but with the other groups involved as well so that we can make the banquet as best as we possibly can,” said senior Public Relations major Sara Jane Ragain.

The students in each group are given a list of their assigned duties several weeks prior to the banquet. This gives the décor team time to pick out the vases, linens and flora that will be used at the banquet. It also allows the catering team to choose the menu for the banquet, including a salad option, two choices for the main course and dessert options. The PR team has time to design the program and get everything printed in time for the banquet. Each group plays a vital role in the banquet and how well it flows throughout the night.

Kilburn’s students are recognized for their hard work and dedication during the banquet. This is a very hands-on process for Kilburn’s class that provides an opportunity for students to get a small glimpse into the event planning world.

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