Back to Ghoul Bash attracts faculty, scholarship funds

By Contributing Writer

by Elizabeth Earl, Contributing Writer

Mark Twain stopped drinking his soda to listen to an undead Miss Ohio announce that the silent auction would be ending soon, and a princess quickly went to bid.

This was the scene at the second annual Back to Ghoul Bash on Nov. 1 at Stage Two, 618 S. Michigan Ave. Faculty and staff, many in costume, gathered to raise money for scholarships.

“We wanted a culmination of committed Columbia staff and faculty, and we wanted to do something really special to give back, [which] means bringing the money,” said Lynn Levy, manager of supplemental instruction and new student placement at the Learning Studio, who attended the event.

All proceeds from the event will go to Scholarship Columbia, which launched in 2009 to increase the number of available scholarships. As of January 2011, the college  has raised $575,000 for the fund and  offers 120 scholarships to incoming and continuing students, according to the college’s website.

During the event, the college matches the faculty and staff donations dollar for dollar, and $2 is matched for every dollar donated by alumni, according to the website

“So far, [the faculty and staff] contributed over $160,000, including the match,” said Amy Wilson, senior prospect researcher for Institutional Advancement and an event committee member. “[The bash] also raised awareness [of the need for scholarship funding among faculty and staff]. When it’s peer-to-peer, you get connections.”

Faculty and staff members dressed as ’80s rockers, literary characters and more, and could have their faces painted by student volunteers. Participants listened to bands, enjoyed a potluck and bid on a silent auction.

The auction items, which included books, albums and artwork by faculty members, were donated by the Columbia Bookstore. The bands and other talent were also composed of faculty, such as Might Hardly, a band made up of two professors in the Science & Mathematics Department and a professor at the University of Illinois

at Chicago.

Putting the talent, like the bands, together was college advisor Wayne Tukes’s idea, he said.

“[I thought] about the dire situation of our students and what we could do about that,” Tukes said. “We were losing a lot of students because of [the] sheer lack

of resources.”

Robin Bargar,  dean of the School of Media Arts, who dressed as Mark Twain, said the event has expanded since last year.

“I came [to the event] because I thought the faculty was very genuine in expressing themselves,” Bargar said. “I think that needs to happen more, that idea of saying what you mean.”

To see a video of the event visit