At the Red Carpet Centennial Gala, more than 800 guests were treated like Hollywood stars, beginning with a red carpet entrance (complete with student paparazzi and live interviews).
As the curtains parted, the crowd was ushered into the dining area, where a gourmet meal was served under glittering chandeliers. Alum Bill Lunn ’87, news anchor for KSTP-TV in the Twin Cities kicked off the program in true Oscar-esque style as music and movies set the scene for the glamorous evening.
The event program spoke to the transforming nature of the university, past, present and future.
Honorary co-chairs Mike ’66 and Claudia (Drvota CST’69) Dooley and Jack and Mary Ann (Wera CST’64) Remick were recognized for serving as ambassadors throughout the university’s Centennial year.
Centennial Awards were presented to Brother Álvaro Rodríguez Echeverría, Superior General of the Institute of Brothers of the Christian Schools, on behalf of the Institute, and to Brother Larry Schatz, Visitor, on behalf of the Midwest District of the Christian Brothers. The university gratefully recognized the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools for its continued leadership and vision, inspired by the teachings of its founder. The university gratefully recognized the Midwest District for its work to inspire new Lasallian educational partnerships through the strength of its dedication and vision.
Brother William reflected back on key points in Saint Mary’s history and told stories of alumni who have gone on to do wonderful things, strengthened by the knowledge they gained at Saint Mary’s; and he invited participants to join SMU as it steps boldly into its second century.
After dinner and in between thunderstorms guests viewed fireworks in the university plaza, provided by RES Specialty Pyrotechnics (founded by 1978 alum Steve Coman. Portions of the Centennial Suite and other exciting music were incorporated into the on-campus show, which came alive from the sky, as well as on the plaza. The night was capped with dancing to the cool sounds of Nicholas David, finalist in NBC's “The Voice.”
Approximately 1,200 visitors were on campus throughout the weekend. Special guests included the more than 50 Christian Brothers who gathered for the unveiling of a new statue, designed by Brother Jerome Cox ’60, which honors all members of the international Catholic teaching order who have served the university. Brother William spoke to the All-School Reunion crowd and to the Brothers from around the nation and the world.
Numerous other activities were held over the All-School Reunion weekend, including decade and reunion class gatherings, canoe trips, an alumni art exhibition, ropes course demonstrations, city and campus tours, a 5K fun run, and an all-school picnic.
Thanks go out to everyone who donated so much of their time throughout the weekend and to everyone who joined in the celebration and in making our guests feel welcome throughout the weekend.
To view photos from throughout the weekend, go to www.smumn.edu/alumniphotos.