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Weathering some light sprinkles of rain, about 1,200 University students, faculty, staff and parents gathered for an ice cream social at the President’s House on Saturday.

Attendees, who had the chance to explore the first floor of the residence, were also given the opportunity to meet and snap pictures with University President Mark Schlissel and his wife, Monica Schwebs.

Students were invited to the event, which offered ice cream bars, cookies, water and apple cider. Schlissel, who dressed down in a block ‘M’ polo shirt, greeted those willing to wait in line for a chance to shake his hand.

The social, which began in the 1930s when Florence Ruthven, wife of seventh president of the University, began hosting tea parties for female students. During the 1950s, University President Harlan Hatcher opened the event to all students. Since then, the social has been an annual event.

Open to both parents and students, the backyard of the house filled up quickly as students meandered around the gardens, munching on homemade block-‘M’ cookies and ice cream.

Last year was the first year Schlissel hosted. Many students who attended this year were excited to meet the relatively new president.

“It was cool to talk to him, because he’s still new,” LSA junior Alaina Stevenson said. “It’s nice to put a personality to a face and a name.”

Others came to tour the renowned South University Avenue house.

“I live across the street in the Law School dorm and my room faces the President’s House,” law student Mary Waller said. “I thought it would be cool to see the inside.”

While Schlissel hosted a similar event last year, this year’s layout was adjusted to accommodate long lines.

Last year, Schlissel and Schwebs received attendees on their patio, meaning the long line formed throughout the home and onto the front lawn. This year, Schlissel decided to receive students further into the backyard, making it easier for those invited to explore the home and socialize.

LSA junior Jasen Garborg said he found the event to be a chance to meet new people.

“I thought the event would be a good opportunity to meet some other students,” Garborg said. “I am a transfer student, so maybe I could meet some other transfer students.”

Garborg also waited in the long line to shake hands and chat with Schlissel for a few minutes.

“It was a really cool opportunity to meet the guy that runs the ship,” he said.

LSA junior Erich Eberhard came to the event for a very specific reason.

“I came here for one purpose, and one purpose only: to find out if Schlissel actually lives in this house,” Eberhard said. “I’ve been wondering since I was a freshman whether or not the presidents live in this house.”

According to Eberhard, Schlissel responded that he was quick to accept the offer to live in a mansion on campus.

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