Alumni and friends of the Law Center danced to a jungle beat until well after midnight at the 35th annual Law Gala and Auction with its theme of “It’s a Jungle Out there!” and its goal of raising funds for the school.
More than 500 party-goers attended the event at the Intercontinental Hotel with the Legends Ballroom transformed into an equatorial jungle with green foliage, water walls, two live macaws, a boa constrictor, and assorted animal “trophies.” The final tally isn’t in yet, but the fundraising goal was $500,000. “We tried to make it a fun evening that guests would never forget,” said Shannon Smith, director of events in the External Affairs Department, “and the crowd was really energized.”
Guests were welcomed to the ballroom by members of the Houston Grand Opera singing songs from The Lion King and the entertainment didn’t stop throughout the night: Music was provided by Infinite Groove and a troupe of jungle dancers and a “jungle magician” performed as an aerial bartender refilled glasses while suspended upside down.
Silent and live auction items,pitched by celebrity auctioneer Richard “Racehorse” Haynes ’56, ranged from vacation trips to Ireland, Costa Rica, and the 2012 Masters in Augusta, Ga., to sailing adventures, jewelry, artwork and nights out on the town.
“Because of the amazing efforts of our staff and alumni, this was one of the most successful Gala's in recent times,” said Dean Raymond T. Nimmer. “Special thanks to Sam (’78) and Melinda Stubbs who chaired the Gala and created a unique event and to Shannon Smith and the rest of the External Affairs office for putting it all together. After so many years at this Law School, I continue to be amazed and delighted by the level of enthusiasm and support we receive. It remains an honor to be associated with this school.”