Brendan Braatten (a.k.a. Han Solo) sword fighting with President Grant Cornwell

Brendan Braatten (a.k.a. Han Solo), area director for residence life (left), calls the action as Obi-Wan Kenobi (a.k.a. President Grant Cornwell, right) brandishes his light saber while a frightened Yoda (Associate Dean of Students Christie Kracker, center) looks away during the recent "Star Wars" dinner in Kittredge Hall.


‘Star Wars’ Serves as Backdrop for Intergalactic Meal in Kittredge Hall

Festive atmosphere, lively entertainment make for delightful evening

December 12, 2012 by John Finn

WOOSTER, Ohio — Thursday night’s supper at The College of Wooster was out of this world according to the students who attended “A Night on Endor,” a “Star Wars” themed extravaganza in Kittredge Hall, which marked the 35th anniversary of the epic film series.

Chuck Wagers, director of campus dining and conferences, and his staff, in conjunction with residence life, organized the event, which was highlighted by a cosmically creative meal featuring Jaba Tail (Chimichurri pork tenders), Padawan Pasta (Mediterranean pasta with chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes and black olives), and Vader Taters (seasoned Jo-Jo potatoes), as well as Wookie Cookies (monster cookies), Hoth Chocolate (hot chocolate), and the always popular Yoda Soda (Lime sherbet melting in a punch bowl of Sprite).

“We do dinners like this periodically throughout the year,” said Wagers. “The students really seem to like it, but we decided to go over the top on this one.”

Indeed, everyone seemed to be in a festive mood, especially when a host of on-campus celebrities entered the room as characters from the “Star Wars” series. Obi-Wan Kenobi (President Grant Cornwell), Yoda (Associate Dean of Students Christie Kracker), Luke Skywalker (Student Activities Coordinator Kevin Carpenter), Princess Leia (Assistant Director of Campus Life Rachel Messenger), Han Solo (Area Director for Residence Life Brendan Braaten), C3-PO (Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Special Programs Ben Hancock), and Darth “Wagers” (none other than Chuck Wagers himself) received a thunderous ovation, but the most enthusiastic response was reserved for two Scot pipers who played the “Star Wars” theme song on their bagpipes.

Braaten and Hancock scripted a mini-performance for the characters that culminated with a proclamation by Darth “Wagers” that “Star Wars” characters were exempt from needing to have a swipe card to enter the dining hall.

Also entertaining was the always popular improv group “Don’t Throw Shoes,” which did a “Star Wars” skit, and the newest a capella group on campus, “Woo Sang Clan,” which presented a creative medley of John Williams’ compositions from “Star Wars.”

Students had to sign up ahead of time and use two “swipes” on their COW card to cover the cost of the meal, but no one seemed to mind. In fact, the nearly 250 spots were claimed in just a few days.

Among those in attendance was R.C. Worrell, a sophomore English major from Yellow Springs, Ohio, who signed up because he loves “Star Wars” and had seen all six films in the series. Seated at the same table was Ellen Skonce, a sophomore English major from Lakewood, Ohio, who came because she is a self-described “sci-fi fantasy nerd.” Maki Love, a first-year student from Minneapolis, was there for the “adventure,” while her friend, Lauren Swank, a first-year student from Los Angeles, was a more casual observer, having received a ticket from another friend who could not attend. Some students were in costume; others carried light sabers that were given to the first 50 who signed up. One student wore a t-shirt with the familiar phrase, “May the Force be with You.”

The special menu garnered rave reviews from the students, and the decorations, courtesy of residence life, transformed Kittredge into an indoor Ewok Village, but the best part of the evening was the brief respite it provided for students, who, for a few short hours, could imagine that the impending final exams were light years away.