Olin community caps work-from-home week with ‘Half-Hour Happy Hour’

More than 130 members of WashU Olin’s staff and faculty joined in a social event via Zoom to celebrate a few personalities among them, share a song, have a drink and try some trivia.

The “Olin Half-Hour Happy Hour” debuted to a strong showing of community members on Friday, April 3, at 4 p.m.—most of whom showed up in their silliest hat, as requested. The Friday afternoon event is designed to be a weekly gathering through the duration of the coronavirus-enforced work-from-home mandate at Washington University.

Peter Boumgarden, Olin Half-Hour Happy Hour emcee.

Peter Boumgarden, Olin professor of practice in strategy and organizations, served as master of ceremonies for the Half-Hour Happy Hour, starting with a welcome to Dean Mark P. Taylor and then launching into the first of three rounds of trivia.

Those trivia rounds were sprinkled among different segments, including one with Charlie Q. Drexler, video production specialist at the Center for Digital Education. Boumgarden interviewed Drexler about his separate acting career, which included a stint as an extra on The Wire. Here’s his IMDb profile.

Charlie Drexler

Boumgarden later gave the stage to Michele Ralston, associate director of open enrollment for Olin’s executive education department, who played guitar and sang “Closer to Fine” by the Indigo Girls before answering a few questions about her band, New Crime Theater, and how listeners could support local bands through the pandemic.

“Wow! This is amazing! Incredible,” Dean Taylor said in the Zoom comments. Denise Herron added, “I can’t believe we’re getting this concert free! Great job!”

A group shot, including Dean Taylor, among the more than 130 who attended the Olin Half-Hour Happy Hour on April 3, 2020.

Participants used their cell phones to respond in real-time to trivia questions Boumgarden posted, including how many British prime ministers Dean Taylor had met (five; Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher, Boris Johnson, Edward Heath and James Callaghan—though he later recalled a sixth, John Major) and how much a venti non-fat latte costs at the Starbucks in Bauer Hall ($5.30).

Contestants racked up points for correct answers and how quickly they answered. Ultimately, over 10 questions, Anna Brown from the CDE prevailed, winning the chance to have Dean Taylor record her voicemail greeting.

The event was organized by Boumgarden and Katie Wools, creative director in marketing & communications.

“This was magical. Olin is so cool,” said Kim Orf, administrative assistant in the dean’s office. “Be well. Miss you all!”

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