John O'Neill ’13

John O'Neill ’13

When the clock struck 11 p.m. on 11/11/11, the Orange and Black Ball had returned.

In the hours leading up to the ball, Dillon Gym became Herbert L. Dillon [1907] Gala Hall: Orange carpet led through a series of orange and black balloon arches to the expansive hall, decked with orange and black drapes, balloons, class banners, rose petals, and of course, an abundance of orange and black ties and bow ties.

Attendance was estimated at 3,000, with students from all four classes in formal attire: Men wore suits and tuxedoes, while women arrived in dresses ranging from full-length ball gowns to sparkly cocktail dresses to Renaissance-style costume. “Everyone looked so gorgeous,” said Deana Davoudiasl ’15.

Davoudiasl couldn’t wait for the headline act, Super Mash Bros., a group that had appeared at Lawnparties in the fall of 2010. “Everyone will be hitting the dance floor,” she said.

In the days leading up to the event — held the night before the football game against Yale — a buzz about the ball began to take over campus. Tickets were sold out two days in advance.

Posters advertised a “glorious event” that was “back with a vengeance,” and The Daily Princetonian provided more details: The ball would be a revival of the historic Prince-Tiger Dance, a major campus social event sponsored by the two publications from the late 1920s until the late 1960s.

This year, the ball was organized by members of the class governments. “With this event, the class governments are defining themselves like they’ve never done before,” said class president Zach Beecher ’13.

Students said they enjoyed the chance to socialize outside the typical Princeton social scene. “I’m really glad I get to hang out with my friends here and see all of them, especially across club boundaries and class boundaries,” said David Drew ’14. “I hope it keeps happening.”

For others, a sense of history was most important.

“We’re basically creating a tradition!” said class secretary Mary D’Onofrio ’14, one of the students who organized the affair. “We looked around and said to ourselves, ‘This is incredible and we did it! We actually created a moment.’ ”