Shelby's Social Diary

Young professionals rock Rice campus at grafitti-inspired "Club Berlin" bash

Young professionals rock Rice campus at graffiti-inspired Club Berlin

23 4157 SEE SHELBY FOR NAMES at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
The Baker Institute's "Club Berlin" chairs Molly Ward, from left, Lee and Kristen Nix, Jenna Bush Hager and Henry Hager. Photo by George Wong
7 4046 D.J. Kiss at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
D.J. Kiss rocked the party tent at the Baker Institute's "Club Berlin" bash on the Rice University campus. Photo by George Wong
27 4173 Wesley R. Ward, left, and George Hagle at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013.
Wesley R. Ward, left, and George Hagle in the spirit of graffiti-inspired "Club Berlin" theme. Photo by George Wong
9 4082 chef Bryan Caswell of Reef at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
Reef's Bryan Caswell presented a host of seafood offerings at the Baker Institute's  "Club Berlin" bash. Photo by George Wong
28 4179 Tatiana Fofanoda and Pedro Silva at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
Tatiana Fofanoda and Pedro Silva at the Baker Institute's
"Club Berlin" bash.  
Photo by George Wong
17 4130 Geraldina and Scott Wise at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
Geraldina and Scott Wise at the Baker Institute's "Club Berlin" bash.   Photo by George Wong
30 4190 Chris and Susan Peter, from left, Cheryl and John Diamond at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
Chris and Susan Peter, left, with Cheryl and John Diamond at the Baker Institute's "Club Berlin" bash. Photo by George Wong
11 4108 chef Ronnie Killen of Killen's Steakhouse at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
Ronnie Killen of Killen's Steakhouse shared his culinary talents with guests at the Baker Institute's "Club Berlin" bash.   Photo by George Wong
19 4142 Kari Gonzalezs and John Dagley at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
Kari Gonzales and John Dagley at the Baker Institute's
"Club Berlin" party.
Photo by George Wong
13 4116 Channing Allshouse, from left, and Bucky and Cynthia Allshouse at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
Channing Allshouse, left, with her parents Bucky and Cynthia Allshouse at the Baker Institute's "Club Berlin" bash.   Photo by George Wong
8 4062 chef Philip Speer of Uchi at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
Uchi's Philip Speer  offered cooking tips at the Baker Institute's "Club Berlin" bash.   Photo by George Wong
10 4092 Ryan and Emily Sweeney at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
Ryan and Emily Sweeney at the Baker Institute's "Club Berlin"  party. Photo by George Wong
3 4024 Mark and Kathrine Yzaguirre at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
Mark and Kathrine Yzaguirre at the Baker Institute's "Club Berlin" party. Photo by George Wong
5 4037 Andy and Kourtney Cyrus, from left, and Jennifer and Michael Hanson at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
Andy and Kourtney Cyrus, left, with Jennifer and Michael Hanson at the Baker Institute's "Club Berlin" party. Photo by George Wong
6 4040 Kim Mathews, from left, Sandy Mathews, Kirstin Mathews and Rob Mathews at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
Kim Mathews, from left, Sandy Mathews, Kirstin Mathews and Rob Mathews at the Baker Institute's "Club Berlin" bash.   Photo by George Wong
23 4157 SEE SHELBY FOR NAMES at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
7 4046 D.J. Kiss at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
27 4173 Wesley R. Ward, left, and George Hagle at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013.
9 4082 chef Bryan Caswell of Reef at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
28 4179 Tatiana Fofanoda and Pedro Silva at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
17 4130 Geraldina and Scott Wise at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
30 4190 Chris and Susan Peter, from left, Cheryl and John Diamond at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
11 4108 chef Ronnie Killen of Killen's Steakhouse at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
19 4142 Kari Gonzalezs and John Dagley at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
13 4116 Channing Allshouse, from left, and Bucky and Cynthia Allshouse at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
8 4062 chef Philip Speer of Uchi at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
10 4092 Ryan and Emily Sweeney at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
3 4024 Mark and Kathrine Yzaguirre at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
5 4037 Andy and Kourtney Cyrus, from left, and Jennifer and Michael Hanson at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013
6 4040 Kim Mathews, from left, Sandy Mathews, Kirstin Mathews and Rob Mathews at Club Berlin Baker Institute party November 2013

For its 20th anniversary, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University shed its buttoned-down image for a rip-roaring party introducing a young professional crowd to the lighter side of the think tank business. "Club Berlin" rocked the Rice campus as 700 revelers responded enthusiastically to the invitation to join "the night awash in digital graffiti."

This was not the notorious pre-World War Berlin that the thirtysomethings and friends embraced, rather the Berlin of 1989 when the wall came down and when James A. Baker III was Secretary of State under President George H.W. Bush. The beauty of this party was the fact that it took place on the same day that the wall fell, Nov. 9. When the Baker Institute's Ryan Kirksey announced the coincidental date, the crowd erupted in cheers and as one Twitter writer posted, "For a moment, it is like we are there."

And, yes, flat screens around the party tent, erected in front of the Baker Institute, spotlighted related Twitter feeds and Instagram photos that guests posted throughout the night. And that was just part of the hipster vibe that kept the energy level soaring. Kudos to "Club Berlin" chairs Kristen and Lee Nix, Molly Ward and Cody Sutton and to honorary chairs Jenna Bush Hager and Henry Hager.

Jenna and Kristen are close friends from their time together at the University of Texas and the former president's daughter answered to the affirmative when asked by Kristen to join the party.

"Luckily, this worked out that we had three events in a row," Jenna said, "and three events that we care about. Houston Methodist — my grandfather was treated there last year and it's an amazing hospital so I try to support it — and then obviously James Baker has been a great friend of our family for a long, long time. So we're thrilled to be here last night and tonight."

New York celeb DJ Kiss kept the turntables spinning while guests danced, chilled in the sleek lounge set-ups and grazed through food displays put on by three of the city's top chefs — Bryan Caswell, Philip Speer and Ronnie Killen, each of whom was on the scene to mix with the guests. Just as he did the night before at the 20th anniversary party, Richard Flowers of The Events Co., worked the party magic.

The graffiti theme inspired all manner of dressing from sedate cocktail attire to the wild and wicked, particularly those mohawk wigs, some in psychedelic colors.

Tripping this night fantastic were Geraldina and Scott Wise, Sheridan and John Eddie Williams, Cynthia and Bucky Allshouse, Channing Allshouse, Susan and Chris Peters, Kari Gonzales and John Dagley, Kathrine and Mark Yzaguirre, Kourtney and Andy Cyrus and Jennifer and Michael Hanson.

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