Alums and students, current or incoming, gathered for three separate collegiate parties with school colors as the dominant decoration. In each case, blue figured, thanks to the orange and navy blue of the University of Virginia, blue and gray of Georgetown University, and red and blue of the University of Pennsylvania.
Students were sent off with style and sentiment at the home of John and Dathel Georges, whose daughter, Zana, enrolls at the University of Virginia. Joining them were approximately 80 other students, alumni, and guests of the UVa Club of New Orleans, which mastheads Rich Arnold as president; Marilyn Wright as director of Parents’ Giving; and Sean Jenkins, special assistant to UVa President Teresa Sullivan.
As guests entered the party site, they first eyed the outside decorations of balloons and those just inside, set up on the “welcoming” table, of a Virginia pennant, pompoms, and floral arrangement (Flowers by Mitch), all in the signature orange and navy blue. Chez Nous catered, enticing the crowd with finger sandwiches, various cheeses, and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus.
The meeting-greeting was punctuated with brief remarks by club President Rich Arnold. Before and after, incoming “first year” students made their rounds. According to UVa tradition, they are not called freshmen (nor are the fourth-year ones called seniors) “because founder Thomas Jefferson believed you could never be a ‘senior’ when it comes to learning.”
Noted as “first year” and their parents were Christian Batarseh, Angela and Jonathan; Susan Chadwick, Anne and Winslow; Charlotte Clark, Mollee and William; Jackson Jansen, Ruth Owens and Dave Jansen; Andrew Kern, Tina and Barry; Caroline Lane, Elly and Merritt; Justis Midura, Shelley and Jonathan; Kunrui Peng, Yingfeng Xu and Haibo Peng; and Elizabeth Redd, Anne and Edmund Redd. Caroline Korndorffer, daughter of Melanie and James Korndorffer, could not attend because of her duties in Charlottesville, Va., the location of the university. She’s the recipient of the prestigious Jefferson Scholarship. Also at Charlottesville was rising second-year student Douglas Downing.
Others were Louisiana State Superintendent of Education John White, Katherine and Robert Saer with son Matthew, Wendy and Thomas Beron with daughter Scout, Sweet and Ben Dupuy, Barbara and Perry Rigby, Meagan and John Dubreuil, Ashbrooke Tullis, Storey Charbonnet, Jim Huger, and Kenneth Adatto, who’s talking up a big reunion for himself and his fellow alums.
Milling about in the home’s spacious downstairs were Donna Bryant, William Martin, James Plummer, Sean McGoey, and Matthew Anjier. A conversational threesome included Carrie Knopf, Lucy Scholz and her neighbor, Camille Robinson, an alumna, who’s just logged extensive travel in South America.
Gothard J. and Marcia Reck and their son, Gothard, received guests for the “send-off” of the Georgetown Club of New Orleans. Many Orleanians will remember the handsome home on St. Charles Avenue as a former Showhouse for the Junior League.
This time, the house was decked out in Georgetown’s colors of blue and gray with Georgetown pennants and banners. A brace of banners were placed outside the front doors. Within, the Recks provided light fare – quite delicious!, including cookies resembling Georgetown’s bulldog mascot.
Leading off the levity, in addition to the hosting Recks, were club President Matt Payne, and newly admitted students Anna Nesterova with mom Irina, Lily Ryan and mom Bunny, Allison MacPhaille with parents Jim and Catherine. Also, Avery Pardee, J. Kelly and Carmen Duncan, Kevin Laborde, Bo Laborde, Ted and Mary Merle Laborde, Jim and Margaret Carriere, Margaret Viator, Patrick and Mary Willis, Marshall Fitz, and club members Andrew Geiger, Sara Lewis, and Juan Linares.
Some of their conversation included trips down university Memory Lane about the Washington, D.C.-situated Georgetown that was founded in 1789, making it the oldest Catholic university in the United States. Campuses now exist in Italy, Turkey and Qatar. Among its alumni are former President Bill Clinton, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
In the entering ranks are nine new students from Louisiana, who’ll be part of the Hoyas kin.
As they have before, Austin and Beth Lavin welcomed guests in their home for the University of Pennsylvania Alumni Club of Louisiana over which he presides. Both Lavins are alums and Jennifer Tintenfass is the club’s vice president
To establish Penn identity, Molly Rand brought university pins, name tags and key chains as gifts from the office of alumni relations. All the guests wore them proudly. Additional touches were the red and blue Penn flag that hung in the front of the house and the same-colors balloons tied to the front gate. The floral bouquets were from Whole Foods and the tasty noshes were catered by Stein’s Market & Deli, which is owned by Penn grad Dan Stein.
Headliners included new student Alfred Joseph, who received a host of tips from the crowd or 70 or so; Molly Rand, assistant director of alumni Regional Clubs in the office of University of Pennsylvania Alumni Relations; and Don Snyder, associate director of Major Gifts, who came down for the event with Molly. Both university representatives, Molly and Don, partied with the local alumni and celebrated the continued growth of the club.
Newcomers to the city, graduates Julia Brownstein, Molly Sloss and Abby Worthen were especially welcomed by the likes of alums Kyle Lutkewitte, Louis Shenk with Cyndi, A.J. Levy, Christi Julian, Jasmine Fournier, Tuua Ruutiainen, Sophie Harris, Nicole Dillard, Marc Kahn, Lisa Herman with Michael, Max and Harry Vorhoff, and Robin Barnes of Greater New Orleans Inc., who shares the same name with a local singer.
Good cheer abounded for the private Philadelphia-based Ivy League school that was founded in 1740, and like UVa and Georgetown has a U.S. presidential connection. It was founded by Benjamin Franklin.