By Phoebe Carter
Jalon Eason ’17 was not expecting anything unusual when he sat down to take his chemistry midterm in Tomsich Hall 101 on Friday, April 4. Then Dobby the house elf sat down behind him.
“Dobby stayed through the entire midterm,” Eason said. “Dobby” was Elizabeth Abrash ’17, who donned the mask in honor of Harry Potter Day, an annual event hosted by the Office of Housing and Residential Life.
The celebrations kicked off with a scavenger hunt and games for kids at the Bookstore. Kathryn Krinsman ’14, one of the organizers of the event, said the day is an important outreach event in a growing effort to involve the community.
The evening saw a costume contest and Harry Potter trivia in Peirce Pub, but the big event was President Sean Decatur’s appearance as Dumbledore to present the Harry Potter Awards. The awards were given to professors and staff whom students voted best embodied professors and staff of J. K. Rowling’s Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Decatur was excited about being Dumbledore for the night, according to Krinsman. When asked if he would present the awards, Krinsman said Decatur responded with, “Yes. Can I go on the balcony? Can I wear my robes?”
Abrash, whose dream is to be a professor specializing in Harry Potter, said she was disappointed Decatur’s Dumbledore did not have a beard. “I actually think he’s worn that outfit before, and not as Dumbledore,” she said of Decatur, who appeared in his academic robes. “But I appreciated his dedication to Harry Potter.”
Associate Professor of English Ivonne García received the Minerva McGonagall Award, Ed Welker of AVI received the Rubeus Hagrid Award and the Pomona Sprout Award went to Jennifer Smith, lead instructor and director of introductory labs in biology. Decatur himself was aptly presented with the Albus Dumbledore Award.
The festivities came to a close with Yule Ball at the Village Inn (VI), which was supposed to feature Kenyon student rap group Special Dogs. President of Special Dogs Evan More ’15 said they had to cancel the show because no sound equipment was set up when they arrived to perform. Neither Krinsman nor Andrea Kelley, assistant director of Housing and Residential Life, knew why the music fell through. “I know that our committee worked very hard to verify and confirm everything with them,” Kelley said. “But I hope that everyone who attended the VI still enjoyed their Butterbeer and had a good time.”
The event’s intention was, in part, to raise money for Relay for Life, with the VI donating for every person who showed up in costume. Krinsman thought the band falling through affected the event’s attendance, as no money was donated that night. They did raised $89 for Relay with the House Penny Wars, which ran last week in Peirce.