President Loh's grand mansion (University House) at the University of Maryland
Sara is a graduating senior of the Class of 2014 at the University of Maryland. She was invited by President Wallace D. Loh (Dr.) to attend a reception at the grand mansion where he lives. They call it the University House, and there was all the buzz about it being a majestic place. Also, President Loh's mansion was built a couple of years ago only, so the reception event has been a tradition of the recent past.
My outfit, as you can tell from the photo, was a strapless, Xhilaration maxi dress. I wore a jacket on top for sleeves. The dress code was business casual and my winter boots were a perfect incognito. They look like formal Clarks under the dress, and they kept the rain and worms out for the evening.
I cannot help but insert my cinema/TV-crazy mind here. Walking up the pathway to the mansion was so much like that ball in The Vampire Diaries that everybody went to.
Sara's invite allowed guests and so I accompanied her along with Mommie. It was pouring heavily and there were worms crawling out of the grass, but we weren't the only enthusiasts visiting the place. It was a moment of recognition for Sara, and a family pride moment to have been invited.
The Dining Room
The University House is a contemporary design on the inside. I was imagining something like the ornate, old-style theme like in the White House. This was something described by Cassandra Claire in The Mortal Instruments City of Fallen Angels where Sebastian Morgenstern's mansion was described. It was probably the subtle greys that triggered the memory. I loved the yellow contrasts, and the damasks on the dining seat's back.
The beautiful silver tea set
I adore serveware and the tea set in the dining area was beautiful. I remember my mother has a claw feet serveware piece in Karachi that is silver and it was always the highlight of her Eid treats trolley.
Refreshments: Spinacopita, fruits, hummus, and white sauce with spinach
I loved the appetizers (heat of the moment I guess - family pride moment). I'd be honest - I love Spinacopita. The hummus I am definitely going to make at home. I was super glad there was good stuff for vegetarians. The meats section did have crab cakes but the queue was crazy and I wanted Ben & Jerry's more than meat!
Getting Sara & myself some Ben & Jerry's
There was also a cookie tower right there in the background on the right if you can see. This was definitely a great reception. I would really like to have a Ben & Jerry's counter at one of my parties! The Berry Berry Extraordinary™ Sorbet has got to be my ultimate favorite. We combined two scoops in the same cup. The second was Chocolate Fudge Brownie. Yum!
The Cookies Tower
We had some serious fun at the University House. It was an evening to remember. The students' turnout was BIG. And, you could tell by the size of the queues at the buffet.
The soda bar
There was a bar at the entrance, the non-alcoholic kind, to the grande hall. There were ushers throughout the place, steering us on. I got myself and the ladies a Diet Pepsi on the rocks.
With President Wallace Loh - Sara and I
The President is such a humble, and friendly person. I was expecting somebody intimidating! The students were huddling up to have their photos taken with him. The announcer opened the reception by inviting everybody to take "Selfies" with the President - the crowd roared with laughter. Plus, there was a private photographer there. Oh! And the student rush was also because President Loh was handing out University of Maryland pins that are pretty exclusive and only the President hands them out. Woohoo! I got myself one too. I don't go at UMD but I'm a Terp's sister so I could definitely use some campus pride.
Mom with President Loh
Mom has been there for us girls throughout our academic lives. She always connected with our school principals, college deans, and now the University President! And, her cheerleader spirit for pepping us girls remains unchanged. She walked up to President Loh, introduced herself, and told him that Sara was receiving a Top Senior Award in Management (her major). The President is not attending that ceremony, so Mom thought ... haha!