Potter College hosts annual fall festival

Elisabeth Moore

With pumpkins and t-shirts in hand, the Potter College Dean’s Council diligently set up and decorated the William “Gander” Terry Colonnade, located just outside of the Ivan Wilson Center for Fine Arts Center. Students, staff and faculty alike awaited the seventh annual Potter College Fall Festival, held on Wednesday afternoon.

“It is also a fun way to get students involved,” Cierra Waller, student services coordinator for the Potter College Dean’s Office Staff, said. “We have stage performances and we have activity booths. It is just a fun kick-off to the year and to let people know we are Potter College and to let them know a little bit of what we do in an active way.”

Potter College of Arts and Letters hosts the fall festival every year, showcasing the many different academic units housed in the Potter College. With a total of 13 disciplines, the Potter College Dean’s Council packed the Colonnades full of booths ranging from pumpkin arrangements to free fall festival t-shirts.

“Our ambassadors at the Dean’s Council of Students really run the show,” Waller said. “Of course, they help with set up, with the maintenance, the flow of the event. They help with the booth logistics and making sure that each booth has what they need.”

A single stage placed in the middle of the Colonnades allowed eight performances to happen throughout the festival. Performers had to audition in front of the Potter College Dean’s Council in order to be center stage at the festival. Over 20 students, staff and faculty auditioned for this year’s festival, though only eight were chosen to fit within the festival’s time limit.

Freshmen BreeAnna Newton and Emilee Barber said the floral and pumpkin booths, where they got to make arrangements, were their favorite. Both said they would come back to the festival in future years.

“I think it is really interesting and it is a good way for students to get involved,” Newton said.

One of the performers was Louisville freshman Shyama Iyer, a musical theatre major. Iyer performed a traditional Indian dance about one of the gods in Hindu mythology. Iyer said she had been dancing since she was little thanks to her mom, who owned a dance school in Louisville. Iyer recently performed in the Bowling Green International Festival and plans on performing more Indian dances in the future.

“I like to get involved doing as much of this as I can,” Iyer said. “It is something that I have to put forth and do myself because I have not met a lot of people who do it. Especially here, there isn’t a huge population of Indians or anything like that.”

The fall festival also included a metal pour by the department of art, and balloon animals made by some of the Dean’s Student Council. Senior theatre major Patrick MacDonald, a member of the Dean’s Student Council, said the here all of the academic units are able to come together to do something fun, which is drastically different from the typical major and minor fairs where there are academic things to accomplish.

“I think it is rewarding to see people stumble upon it in the middle of a crazy kind of day and to see how happy they are stuffing a pumpkin or doing something else,” Rachel Harris, a junior advertising major in the Dean’s Student Council, said. “We get to see that all of this planning that we put into it pays off when people are just enjoying themselves and getting to learn more about Potter College.”

Another performer at the festival was Reagan Stovenour, who sang two songs that incorporated her love for jazz. Stovenour said she learned about the festival performance through her voice teacher, Amelia Rollings, an assistant professor in the department of theatre and dance, and they decided it would be a great opportunity for her to perform and to gain experience in front of a crowd.

Waller said her favorite point in the festival was the end when it started to wind down, since she would have the time to go up on the steps of the Colonnade and look at everything that was going on.

“My favorite is to kind of see our DSC [Dean’s Student Council] Ambassadors running the show and having fun and looking at all of the students enjoying things, looking at all of the cool things that happen in the booths and kind of seeing everyone outside of that academic element,” Waller said. “That is kind of my favorite moment to sneak away at a moment when no one is calling my name and just to see all that is going on.”

Throughout the festival grounds, students carrying pumpkin arrangements milled around as organizations took care of their booths. After the final performances, the seventh annual Potter College Fall Festival officially closed until the next fall.

Reporter Elisabeth Moore can be reached at 270-745-6288 and [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @emoore938.