The G.E.R.M.A.N. Club at Virginia Tech will host their 120th annual Midwinters dance in Squires Student Center at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9.
"This event is for the university," said Andrew Sunderman, a junior agricultural economics major and German Club Fellowship Chairman. "We love to provide entertainment for people, that’s why we put it on."
Sunderman encouraged students to bring a date or come with a group of friends to meet new people. The event will feature live music by the band Trademark, playing a mix of contemporary hits and favorite classics.
This year’s theme is “An Evening in London.” Members of the club have been busy transforming the Commonwealth Ballroom into England’s vibrant capital city. Months of planning and weeks of preparations have gone into orchestrating the event and crafting decorations. Semi-formal dress is suggested, and Sunderman encouraged attendees to incorporate the British motif into their evening attire.
The German Club — which traces its roots to the Cadet Dancing Club — was founded in 1892 when Tech was not a coeducational institution and Corps training was compulsory. The club organized dances where cadets could meet and socialize with young women from nearby schools. Midwinters began soon after the club’s inception as an event to bring members of the German Club, and the rest of the university, together in a communal event.
Contrary to appearance, the club is named not for the country, but rather for the German Waltz, a popular dance when the organization was established. Early dances were referred to as “Germans,” after the waltz. Today, in addition to hosting social events, club members serve the university community through leadership and volunteer work.
“Our motto is leadership for service through fellowship,” Sunderman said. “Virginia Tech is our philanthropy.”
The club’s stylization as G.E.R.M.A.N. refers to tenants of brotherhood all members embrace: gentlemen, earnestness, reputation/responsibility, manhood, aim, and name. A document — known as the “Ritual” — written in the 1930s describes these pillars and how each member should abide by them.
The club works with Tech's sororities in a regular fundraiser held at the German Club manor, and members donate their time at university events.
While the club is fraternal, it is not affiliated with any Greek organization and prides itself on the distinction. When approached by a Greek fraternity in 1972, members unanimously voted to forever maintain their independence from such organizations. The club remains unique to Tech.
Tickets can be purchased for $5 from any German Club member prior to the event, or at the door on Saturday evening.
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