More than 200 attendees filled the ballroom at the Madison Hotel for the 11th annual College of Saint Elizabeth (CSE) Scholarship Benefit and Silent Auction hosted by the College, April 26, 2012. Investing in the Future celebrated scholarship and excellence and raised funds to support the education of students at the College.
Acting as emcee, Deborah McCreery, CSE vice president of Institutional Advancement, welcomed the attendees and thanked them for their support. Then, CSE student Kristina Ashbridge, ’12, performed her rendition of Song of Blessing for America.
The event was co-chaired by Betty Dangler, ’69, and William Ford, a CSE trustee. In her welcoming remarks to the audience, Dangler said, “It has been a privilege for me to co-chair this event with Bill Ford and the Gala committee. They all have worked so hard and are so dedicated to the College of Saint Elizabeth. In thinking about tonight’s event, I came across this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt. ‘The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.’ Thank you for your generosity and for investing in the future of these college students, so they can believe in and follow their dreams.”
Sister Francis Raftery, CSE president, introduced this year’s honoree, CSE alumna Lorena E. Tyson, ’55, who has embodied the spirit of the CSE mission through her leadership positions and award-winning career in education. Since receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from CSE and later a Master of Science in Chemistry from Catholic University of America, Tyson has dedicated her life to teaching science in parochial schools, as well as at Montclair High School for 26 years, where she was named the 1989 Teacher of the Year. She received recognition on state, regional, and national levels - serving in various educational and governmental roles related to women, youth, and human rights.
Tyson also received the degree of Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa, in 2000 for her dedication to education and the College. Currently she is the president of the College Alumnae/i Association Board of Directors. Tyson, along with three other classmates, started the Sister Marian José Smith Scholarship Fund to support science education. She spent many years on the CSE Educational Opportunity Fund Advisory Board, helping to secure New Jersey state funding used to support students adapting to the College setting. Commented Sister Francis, “We can not express our love and admiration for the leadership Lorena has provided.”
In presenting the award to Tyson, Sister Marian José said, “Lorena is the kind of person we are so very proud of at CSE...she has gone on to and continues to help other people...as usual, she is doing credit to her alma mater. I don't think there is anyone I'd recommend more for the honor.”
In her acceptance speech, Tyson remarked, “We are important, each and every one of us and what we do does make a difference. It makes a difference now and tomorrow and the day after. We do make a difference each and every one of us. The principles that are and were instilled in us at the College of Saint Elizabeth to be all that one can be instills in us the motivation that we can and must make a difference if we are to fulfill the mission of the College. Always remember that God made us for a purpose and that purpose is to be there for others.”
In addition to Tyson’s remarks, a second speaker also addressed the audience. Nicole Anderson, ’04, CSE professor of history, said, “I know that without the help of the generous people in this room, many of my students might never have gotten this chance to better their lives. In fact, were it not for assistance from people like you, alumni and friends of the College, I myself would not have done so, either. I was able to attend the College of Saint Elizabeth because of the merit scholarship I received. Absent that scholarship, my life and my work would be drastically different – and I suspect, not for the better. As it is, thanks to you, I get to wake up every morning doing what I love and being who I want to be – at a place I admire and very much want to continue to serve.”
Gala Has Many Benefits
Aside from dinner and dancing, the April 26 event also featured a Silent Auction with gifts such as jewelry, weekend getaways, gift baskets, and Broadway and/or sports tickets, and a 50/50 raffle. For those not able to attend, there was an online auction of exclusive, high retail items. Proceeds from the evening’s dinner, silent auctions, and 50/50 raffle directly support student scholarships at CSE.