A dancing flash mob of more than 50 students and faculty surprised onlookers at the SUNY Fredonia campus Monday to celebrate President Virginia Horvath's official investiture as its new president.
The smiling, all-ages group danced to "Let's Go" by Calvin Harris and Ne-Yo. The routine was choreographed by Assistant Professor of Dance Samantha Kenney, who has been part of the Department of Theatre and Dance faculty since 2007. Dozens danced in unison to the song, until the group parted to allow space for a rousing duet between Dr. Horvath and Paul Mockovack, a professor of dance at the school.
"It was a collaborative effort with faculty members of the theater and dance departments ... literally all sorts of campus members, students, faculty members, staff members, secretaries you name it. They were all involved and even President Horvath herself," Director of Public Relations Mike Barone said on Tuesday, and added that retirees from the college also participated.
Top: A dancing flash mob on Monday brought students and faculty together to kick off the new tenure of Dr. Virginia Horvath (front) as president of SUNY Fredonia college.
A student group on campus called Orchesis was also involved with the event. On its website, Orchesis is described as being "dedicated to the appreciation of dance as an art form, open to all students, faculty and staff at the college."
Barone said the idea developed during planning meetings for Horvath's inauguration. "It initially started as sort of a joke, kind of, 'Wouldn't it be funny if ...?' and that turned into 'Why not? Let's do it!' ... We thought it would be a fun way to kick things off," he said.
No one was expecting the high visibility the event would attract, particularly since it was not publicized ahead of time. By mid-afternoon, the four-minute-long YouTube video had received nearly 10,000 views, and had been picked up by television newscasts throughout the region. "It really just kind of exploded in a way he didn't imagine. ... We kind of caught lightning in a bottle," Barone explained.
The event may hint at a new style of leadership on campus. "It was a terrific way to show President Horvath's personality. (The previous) President Hefner was never shy about getting out there and being visible at events, but she obviously has a very different personality," Barone told the OBSERVER.
On Friday at 2 p.m., the official Investiture Ceremony of President Virginia S. Horvath as SUNY Fredonia's 13th president will take place in the Williams Center. Numerous dignitaries and guests will be featured, including SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. Student performances will include the Fredonia Wind Ensemble and the Fredonia Chamber Choir.
See the flash mob video on YouTube at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRP2Ir6n28k
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