Freshman class dines in style at Johns Hopkins' annual High Table banquet

More than 600 students attend dinner with faculty, administrators

For one night each March, the Johns Hopkins University rec center is transformed into a makeshift banquet hall, where freshmen partake in fine dining with deans, exchange pleasantries with professors.

Think Harry Potter's Hogwarts, minus the magic sorting hat.

High Table, a Hopkins tradition that began in 2010, brings the freshman class together with the university's president, provost, members of the faculty, and other administrators for a formal dinner in the British tradition of Formal Hall, a style of dining that has taken place at Oxford and Cambridge for centuries. This year's event drew more than 600 students and more than 50 university administrators and faculty members. The menu featured a green salad with charred tomatoes, roasted local beets, goat cheese, and an apple vinaigrette; expresso-crusted chicken with mashed potatoes and baby spring vegetables; and a flourless chocolate torte with crème anglaise and fresh berries.

The meal was preceded by remarks from freshman class president Jonathan Loewenberg, freshman class senator Matthew Brown, and a toast from Johns Hopkins President Ronald J. Daniels.

"I thought the event was a huge success," Loewenberg said in an email to the Hub. "We were very impressed with the turnout. It's not very often that the freshman class gets a chance to get together and have an exclusive event with the faculty and administration the same way that the upper classes do. I thought it was an invaluable opportunity for us to come together as a class and reflect on our time in college thus far. Additionally, it was a great opportunity for students to interact with faculty directly, something that freshmen don't get to do very often. ... I know students, faculty, and administration alike enjoyed the event."

The event is supported by the Hopkins Parents Fund.

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