President Lester Lefton mingled with students for about half an hour last night during the Honors College’s “BBQ with the Prez” — and nearly a third of that time was spent playing volleyball.
Julie Gardner, freshman exploratory major, was one of the players facing off against Lefton.
“I wasn’t expecting him to play volleyball. It was super fun,” she said. “He seems really focused on the students.”
Lefton, clad in a suit and tie, lunged at the ball and managed to get a few points. Gardner said the president’s athletic performance was “one of a kind,” and even Honors College Dean Larry Andrews also joined in on the volleyball game for a few serves.
Kiera Manion-Fischer, freshman political science major, observed the game from the sidelines.
“I think it shows he’s willing to get involved with student activities,” Manion-Fischer said.
Senior art history major Kristin Patterson said one of the reasons she came was to meet the new president.
“I keep reading how he does stained glass windows, and I love it,” Patterson said.
Free food was another big draw to the event. Hot dogs, burgers, potato salad, chips and soda were available.
“You can’t beat free food,” Patterson said.
In addition to the food, students could participate in a variety of games including volleyball, basketball, badminton and croquet. Becky Gares, honors coordinator of advising and public relations, said the event was a great way for the Honors College to greet new students and create a new student community.
“We wanted to welcome all students, not just freshmen, to the new facility,” Gares said. “We also wanted to let them know that the library and lounge are open to everyone and available to just hang out.”
Sophomore integrated language arts major Beth Bloom said she thought the event was a success.
“More people were here than I expected,” Bloom said. “I came because I wanted to see old friends from Colloquium and get together. It was a lot of fun.”
Contact honors and international affairs reporter Katie Roupe at [email protected]