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Fall Alumni Weekend 2023
November 17-18
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Gala COVID-19 Safety

Gala COVID-19 Safety

By Darren Callihan
Posted on 16 September 2021 | 6:06 pm

Alumni Awards Gala 2021 – COVID-19 Precautions

The College of Charleston Alumni Association will take the following precautions for the safety of all guests, staff members, and volunteers at our annual Alumni Awards Gala, Saturday, November 20, from 6:30-10:30 pm, at the Charleston Marriott, 170 Lockwood Drive, Charleston, SC. Guests should be aware this is a large indoor event with approximately 500 guests (approximately 60% of the ballroom capacity). Please review the following precautions to inform your decision to attend. Guests attend at their own risk and ticket purchases are non-refundable:

Age and Vaccine Requirement

  • This year, guests, vendors, staff, and volunteers must be age 21 or older and provide a valid, government-issued, photo identification upon entry, along with proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (in the form of a paper vaccination card, a printed photocopy of the card, or a photo of the card on a handheld mobile device). The vaccination card must show 14 days have passed since their final dose of vaccine.

Mask Requirement

  • Guests will be required to wear masks from arrival throughout the event, except when seated at tables while actively eating or drinking.
  • Speakers may remove their masks while speaking at the podium.
  • Band members must wear masks except while performing.
  • All Marriott servers, vendors, CofC staff, and volunteers will wear masks.

Three Step Check-In Process

Check-in stations will be arranged to allow social distancing.

  • Step 1: Upon arrival, all guests, vendors, staff, and volunteers (all attendees) will proceed to multiple temperature check stations for a thermometer gun reading. If temperatures are in the normal range, they will proceed to Step 2.
  • Step 2: Trained security professionals will check the proof of vaccination and IDs. Wristbands will be applied to indicate credential confirmation was completed. Attendees must wear the wristband for the duration of the Gala.
  • Step 3: Guests will proceed to the name badge check-in and be ushered to their tables where a Marriott server will provide them a choice of beverages.


  • Signage regarding COVID-19 protocols will be placed near the entrance points and throughout the foyer and ballroom.

Floor Plan

  • Attendance is limited to 500 guests, approximately 60% of the banquet capacity of the Marriott ballroom.
  • The floor plan is designed to maximize space between tables.
  • Guests are asked to remain at their tables during the dinner and program, and not to switch tables or visit other tables. This will assist with contact tracing if needed.
  • The band stage and dancefloor have been expanded to allow for social distancing.

Food & Beverage Service

  • Marriott has instituted state-of-the-art COVID-19 precautions in their food preparation and service.
  • The traditional pre-dinner reception has been eliminated this year. All guests will be ushered to their tables and once they take their seats, will be offered a beverage of their choice by a Marriott server.
  • Covers will be placed over the preset water glasses.
  • All food and beverages will be served individually by Marriott employees.
  • Multiple bars will open after the program and dinner ends, as the band begins to play. Social distancing will be instituted at the bars and on the dancefloor.
  • Marriott personnel and professional security will monitor the room to manage traffic and remind guests about masks, social distancing, etc.

Additional Precautions

  • The ticketing emails and the website will clearly state the COVID-19 measures that are being taken and expected number of attendees and the caution that guests experiencing any illness or symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend the Gala.
  • An email address and phone number will be provided to all guests for reporting any positive COVID-19 test results for up to five days after the Gala (November 25).
  • Should someone report testing positive by November 25, an alert will be sent to attendees as appropriate.