Winter Semi-Formal

Since you all leave this weekend, this won’t be your usual TWAN - instead, it is time for our annual Semi-Formal Shout-Outs! This event takes quite the team, and I am so thankful for every person who pitched in to make it happen. This was my first Semi-Formal as Student Activities Coordinator, and I absolutely could not have done it without the help of all these wonderful people. 

Semi-Formal 2023 started as just a vision of gemstones, and it was truly a labor of love to turn it into the crystalline cavern that it became. I am so pleased with how it turned out, and I hope you all had a wonderful time and truly enjoyed yourselves before your final exams!

(By the way, Hunt kitchen will be closing for the Winter holidays on Friday (12/8) at 12:00pm. Please take care to clean up after yourselves and to dispose of any perishable food that belongs to you before Friday at 12:00pm.)

And now, for my endless gratitude: 

...and that's a wrap on Semi-Precious!

With glitter and love,


NCSSM’s Winter Semi-Formal is Saturday, December 2 from 8:30pm - 10:55pm in the PEC Gymnasium and I am excited to announce that the theme for this year’s dance is Semi-Precious! Students are in for a treat as we light up the night on this magical and crystal-filled occasion – Semi 2023 is sure to be a fun and relaxing evening with music, dancing, sweet and savory treats, sparkling beverages, and festive decor!

For Students:

As this is a special event, we request that students wear semi-formal attire. You can always use Google for more specific examples, but appropriate attire includes a dressy skirt, shirt and tie (jacket optional), dress pants, a dress, and dress shoes. If you are unsure of the appropriateness of what you plan to wear, please don't hesitate to ask Kori Willoughby, Justin Plummer, Jennifer Ashe, or your CC.

Dinner out has always been a popular part of the Semi experience and this year is no different! 9th Street and Downtown dinner loops will depart from Bryan lobby beginning at 5pm and run until 8:30pm Saturday night. NCSSM employees will be driving up and down 9th Street and to Downtown Durham (and returning to the Bryan circle) throughout the evening--be sure to thank your driver for making these loops possible! Ninth Street loops will drop off and pick up in the Erwin Square Mill parking lot (near the Harris Teeter). Downtown loops will drop-off and pick up at the American Tobacco Campus. Seating is available first come, first served so please be patient as you await the next available shuttle.

Dinner options on 9th Street include Lime & Lemon, Wheat, Szechuan Mansion, Chicken Bee, ZenFish, Blue Corn Cafe, Juju, Burger Bach, Vin Rouge, Moe's Original BBQ, Alpaca, and many others.

Dinner options downtown near the American Tobacco Campus include Mellow Mushroom, Parker & Otis, Seraphine, Press, Moe's, Nanasteak, and many others in Downtown Durham.

In addition to our van loops, we will also allow groups to walk from campus and back down 9th Street (including the Erwin Mill area, e.g., Guasaca, Parizade, and Local 22) and Broad Street (from The Loop to Sho Nuff Seafood) until 7:30pm for this special occasion. Groups should include 3 or more people; please make plans to return to campus by 7:30pm.

I encourage everyone to dress warmly for waiting outside since the forecast is looking chilly and to wear comfortable shoes. I also recommend making reservations ahead of Saturday evening to avoid long waits and arrive early to make sure your van loop can get you there on time!

Guests are allowed at Semi-Formal! If you wish to bring a non-NCSSM student to Semi-Formal with you, please sign them in at Bryan Desk and follow our usual visitor guidelines (p. 39 of the Student Handbook). All guests should depart from NCSSM campus before 10:55pm.

Want to be part of the decor fun? Join us in the student center anytime Tuesday - Thursday from 1:30-8:00pm or pop by the SAB meeting Thursday night at 8pm! If Kori or Justin aren't around, we'll be back! Pop by a little while later :)

If you have any questions, please email

For Families:

Each year, SAB extends an invitation to NCSSM families to be involved with Semi. Parents, guardians, and alumni are encouraged to volunteer or to provide refreshments for the dance.
Popular contributions for past dances have included cheese and crackers, holiday cookies, mini biscuits, and rice crispy treats. Sweet and savory options are greatly appreciated but we do ask, for the ease of setup and serving, that families provide food items that do not require utensils or re-heating in order to eat or serve.

Most items can be dropped off in-person at the Bryan delivery table or delivered to 1219 Broad Street, Durham, NC 27705, Attn: Kori Willoughby / SAB. Perishable items can be dropped off closer to 12/2; just let us know when to expect them and we’ll stop by Bryan lobby to pick them up! Please address any deliveries attention: Kori Willoughby / SAB.
Cheese & cracker trays and fruit trays have been popular in the past and can be ordered online or from local grocery stores. I would recommend reaching out early to make sure that all orders can be accommodated given the busy holiday season.
***Due to staffing availability, all deliveries must be dropped off at the Bryan lobby. Unfortunately we are not able to accommodate pick ups from specific vendors but we are very appreciative of your support in making these sweet and savory treats available for students.***

Below I’ve included contact information for several local grocery stores.

Another exciting opportunity for you to be involved is to volunteer during the dance! Three shifts are available: 8:15-9:30pm, 9:15-10:30pm, and 10:15-11:30pm. Volunteers typically help chaperone or assist with food service by restocking our food tables and serving drinks. Volunteering also allows folks to see our students all dressed up and enjoying themselves!

You can sign up to provide refreshments or to volunteer via our SignUpGenius event page.

Thanks in advance for your interest in being a part of this event! Last year's Winter Semi-Formal was a huge success in large part to the overwhelming generosity of our students and their families. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!