While many other high schools across the nation were celebrating prom with limo rentals, fancy clothes, and corsages, The Thacher School was celebrating its biennial UnProm. The dance is organized, planned, decorated and DJ’d by the faculty. Students are not meant to spend more than $15 on their outfits. Additionally, students are assigned dates so that everyone is included. There is typically a clever means of distributing date assignments. In the past, students have had to dive into the pool to scoop their date’s name from the water; names have been frozen in ice cubes, embedded in calendars, or even deciphered via calculator program.
While it has many differences, UnProm does have some similarities with this quintessential high school event as well. It always has a fun theme to help inspire decorations and costumes—some thematic highlights over the years include the Foot Ball in 2003 when the school added the football program, the Construction Function in 2005, when we were building the Commons (the dance was held next to the work site!), A Wrinkle in Time, Under the Sea, Fire and Ice, and Futurama (this year’s theme). There is great food, fun photo ops against unique backdrops, and great music—an eclectic mix of hit dance tunes spanning the decades.
UnProm originated in the late 1990s with former faculty member Phyllis Johnston. In recent years, Kara Hooper has spearheaded the event. Ms. Hooper commented, “It is a ‘many hands make light work‘ effort by the faculty, which is always fun, and honestly, it has not changed very much over the years. It is one of my favorite moments of the year each time it rolls around, as I have a great time with colleagues, and the students dance until the very last possible moment—usually three hours straight!”