Barry University’s 75th Anniversary Birthday Bash
Hosted by NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal
It was a charmed night of friends, supporters, alumni and –yes!- celebrities as Barry University celebrated its 75th Anniversary on October 3rd with the Barry Birthday Bash. Soho Studios in Wynwood was transformed into the elegant Club Barry, a supper club evoking the days of the university’s founding in 1940. With student volunteers dressed in retro-chic, ‘40s inspired costumes; guests arrived walking on red carpets, past vintage cars. Inside, the scene was set with long features and glistening chandeliers, as guests we met with a trio of musicians who played from above the bar during the cocktail reception.
Alumni and Barry supporter Dr. Shaquille O’Neal hosted the evening, inviting guests from the cocktail into the supper club for dinner, music and a lot of dancing. The evening’s festivities were in large part thanks to Bank of America, a major sponsor of the event. Throughout the evening, the musical arrangements and entertainment were produced by Grammy Award winning soul and R&B singer-songwriter Betty Wright. Sister Linda Bevilacqua, OP, PhD, President of Barry, welcomed guests and blessed the event with an invocation; followed by a call for guests to purchase “victory bonds” to help donate towards the university’s scholarship program.
As the music transported guests through the decades of Barry’s history, guests took to the three dance floors between courses to shimmy and shake – enjoying every minute of the entertainment. Shaq joined in on the conga line with Barry’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement and External Affairs, Sara B. Herald as it made its way through the tables.
The night was capped off by with a brilliant performance by Wyclef Jean who sang songs from his days as a member of the group The Fugees to his illustrious solo career and memorable cover songs. The Grammy Award winner moved between playing the guitar, drums and piano as he kept the crowd singing along. One of the most unforgettable moments of the night came as Wycelf invited Shaq to sing along and the two began their own rendition of The Temptations’ classic, “My Girl.”
Guests left with photo booth keepsakes and donuts in-hand and smiles on their faces as the evening wound down. All-in-all, it was a marvelous event that helped raise funds for Barry University’s future achievements and students.