For the first time, faculty of the Honors College conducted and performed in a lip sync battle to raise funds for Hope College in Accra, Ghana, Tuesday night.
Dr. Jason Morris, Dr. Steven Moore, Dr. Richard Beck and Tracy Shilcutt battled against each other in “the most epic showdown in history.”
The idea for the show was formed from a conversation between Morris, dean of the Honors College, and Moore, associate professor in the department of language and literature.
“I occasionally watch Jimmy Fallon, and he has some good lip sync battles on the show,” Morris said. “I was in a conversation with Dr. Steven Moore and said it might be interesting to get some faculty members to do a lip sync battle and hold it as an honors event. So, we discussed it a little more and got some faculty involved and said, ‘Let’s go for it,’ and created an event that’ll allow students to come together and have a good time and be entertained.”
To add purpose to the event, the group decided to turn it into a fundraiser for Hope College in order to thank them for helping the Honors College during previous trips abroad.
The Honors program participates in Justice in the Meridian in which students travel for two weeks in London, England, two weeks in Barcelona, Spain, and the two weeks in Accra, Ghana, to explore justice, oppression and power. The program was created in conjunction with Dr. Stephen Shewmaker, interim director of the Center for International Education, to provide more students the opportunity to study abroad.
“While we’re in Accra, the folks with the Hope organization with Hope College really help to host us and shepherd us around Ghana, and this is kind of a way to pay them back for some of the things they’ve done to help us,” Morris said.
Each faculty member chose two songs to “sing” and dance to and even had a rehearsal before the big night. Beck, chair and professor in the Department of Psychology, matched up against Moore and chose the Bee Gees’ Staying Alive for his first ensemble and Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N’ Roses to wrap up the act.
“The hardest thing was picking songs and trying to pick songs that would be contrasting,” Beck said. “My wife and I just listened to song after song after song trying to find the right ones. I wanted to do something that would be energetic but funny, too, and to bring some laughs as well.”
Moore catered to his talents and chose two Michael Jackson songs – Smooth Criminal and Black or White – to woo the crowd and recruited dancers from this year’s Freshman Follies show to complete his act.
“It was just a great opportunity to bond with some of my colleagues and to bond with those Freshman Follies dancers,” Moore said. “I think it’s great when professors can just let their hair down and do a little dancing and singing.”
At the end of the night, attendees voted for their favorite acts by dropping money in the corresponding buckets. All donations went Hope College in Accra, Ghana.
Dr. Jason Morris and Dr. Vic McCracken were voted the winners.