With perfect weather for an outdoor fête, the 2017 edition of A Charleston Affair was a grand hit.

Randolph Hall was bathed in incandescent light as about 3,500 alums, graduating students and guests filled the College of Charleston campus for the joyous celebration on Saturday, May 6, 2017. The stage on top of the Cistern, set to be used in commencement on May 12 and 13, filled with dancers as soon as the gates opened for the biggest party of the year — it was hard to resist the smooth sounds of the EastCoast Entertainment band Fantasy. Hits from 1970s group Cornelius Bros and Sister Rose segued into current hit Uptown Funk, which gave everyone something to boogie to.

Commemorating the end of the semester, the Class of 2017 filled in to Cougar Mall to find DJ YNot and school mascot Clyde, who quickly became the most popular selfie partner.

Guests who wanted to cool their heels found plenty comfy seating under the canopy of twinkling lights and ancient oaks in Cistern Yard. The action extended all around campus with various food stations and bars peppered around Glebe and George streets. A popular new addition to A Charleston Affair was the wine and beer tastings with alumni sommeliers and brewers — rosé and craft brews were the sips of choice for the evening.

Attendees also feasted on fountains of chilled shrimp, piles of ham biscuits, and crudités with President Glenn McConnell ’69‘s recipe for vegetable dip.

McConnell congratulated the seniors in attendance on their impending graduation before leading the crowds in a rendition of the CofC alma mater.

As soon as the last  “Hail, all, hail,” was sung, it was back to partying as the band revved back up. A Charleston Affair went on into the night, until it was time to kick off the heels and call a pedicab home.

All photos by Clifford Pate.