PITTSBURGH— The tickets sell out each fall semester as students dress up to cruise Pittsburgh’s three rivers with the Gateway Clipper Fleet. A few hundred attended this year’s student-sponsored Boat Prom on Friday night, but how many know the origins of the “Boat Prom” label?
A 2014 grad says he had a hand it coining that name.
“Well, I remember I started using the term “Boat Prom” around September of 2013, but there’s a student the year before me who claims he came up with the name,” said Joe Ligo. “We were in two different social circles, so it’s possible that we both invented the name independently of each other.”
Ligo revealed to WCN 24/7 that he did a lot to popularize the use of “Boat Prom.”
“I always thought the Gateway Clipper trips were kind of silly, because people got so excited for what was basically a high school prom except on a boat with overpriced drinks.”
He said his label was poking fun of what he called a dance during a river cruise. Ligo, a member of Theta Chi, claims his fraternity had a habit of repeating jokes.
“I saw CPC actually referred to the Clipper Trip as “Boat Prom” on their posters, which I guess is kind of funny.”
Ligo called the popular use of the label ironic as he was originally mocking the event.
As for another narrative of the origins of “Boat Prom,” Ligo explained he has no problem sharing the credit with someone else. Meanwhile, he’s impressed by the staying power of the term. He’s also proud to have a hand in something that’s become part of the unofficial lexicon of Westminster’s student body.