By: Jana Kaplan Staff Writer
Do you believe in the power of love? What about the power of chocolate? Senior Associate Dean Neil Donahue does, and that’s why he created the Valentine’s Day chocolate tasting. Before starting this “instant tradition” years ago, Donahue realized that this time of year is a great time have fun, and enjoy chocolate.
“It’s a nice, casual opportunity for people to try quite a few chocolates and come together,” Donahue said about the event, which “struck [him] as a great idea.”
While the tasting started off as an intimate event for Honor’s College students, Donahue decided to invite “well-known chocaholic,” and Provost, Herman A Berliner. After attending the original chocolate tastings, Berliner suggested they become a University event- and they did.
While Donahue loved the idea of going to the city and buying all of the chocolates personally, he realized that more chocolate meant more money. While his efforts doubled the size of the event, it also doubled the cost and the labor. That’s when he decided to bring the event back “down to scale” and close it off to Honor’s College students again. While this might upset students who want to drown their Valentine’s Day sorrows, Donahue suggested that the event alternate each year, so every student gets the opportunity to experience this one-of-a-kind treat.
Anyone who is familiar with the event knows the rumor that people often fall in love at the tasting. Donahue said he can confirm the rumor, but he doesn’t know its extent. He didn’t provide names, but he said that there have been a few marriages that have come out of the event.
While Donahue considers himself a pragmatist, he also claims that “it would be hard to dispute” his romantic side. After all, he did create a successful tradition, which empowers Valentine’s Day and love. If you’re a part of the HUHC and want to take a bite into something sweet, stop by the Chocolate Tasting on Friday February 15 at 3:00 in the HC Seminar room and lounge, East library wing 244.