Once again, the Page family — that’s Marshall and Kim and daughter Lindsey — were the hosting force at their Uptown home at the send-off party for the University of Virginia. Lindsey was already back on the campus and about to begin her second year but got a full report of the party at her home. Approximately 80 students, alumni and friends mixed and mingled.
Balloons added decorative buoyancy. Gifts for the incoming students provided by UVA Club of New Orleans were a nice bit of lagniappe and largesse. Of course, the colors of navy blue and orange dominated the party palette.
In a moment of formality, alumna Ashbrooke Tullis thanked the Pages for hosting the party and offered congratulations and encouragement to the five new Wahoos in attendance. Host Marshall Page offered reflections on recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, where the campus is located, and stressed the university’s unwavering commitment to inclusion and tolerance.
First Year students, as they are called, included Lauren Hickey, a graduate of Lakeshore High School and daughter of Chandelle and Brian Hickey; Sarah Lane (Isidore Newman), daughter of Elly and alumnus Merritt Lane; Peyton LeCorgne (Newman), daughter of Margaret and alum Matt LeCorgne; Stephanie Rehkopf (Newman), daughter of Ward Rehkopf and Cheryl Kirby; and Madison Smither (Benjamin Franklin High School), daughter of Elizabeth and alum Michael Smither. Madison is also the recipient of the prestigious Jefferson Scholarship, a four-year, full-tuition merit scholarship.
Unable to attend, but more “First” notables are Raeven Mataya, Madeline Hennessy, Andrea Ybarra, Dillon Melerine and Elizabeth Whitworth, whose respective parents are Reanna Mataya and Richard Varist, Gretchen and Brian Hennessy, Melissa and Andres Ybarra, Tammy and Don Melerine, and James Whitworth and LaDonna Hillis. Their schools: Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy, Metairie Park Country Day School, Destrehan High School, Holy Cross School, and Archbishop Hannan High School.
Conversation was lively as guests congregated around the food tables and bars. Among those noted were alumnus Doug Downing, father of current student Andrew and grad Michael; Tiffany and alum Les Alexander with UVA daughter Sarah; Anne and Glyn Bailey with UVA son Gordon; and Tina Kern with UVA son Andrew. Another son, Fitz Kern, picked up his diploma in 2015. Also noted were alum duos in Celeste and Michael McNulty and Stacy and Trey Drury; Margaret and alumnus Michael Tuskey; alumnae Mary Schmidt and Anne Redd; and UVA Club board members in Rich Arnold, Josiah Carey, Oliver Doxtater, Paul Verlander, and Courtney Stuckwisch.
Seeing the world through Georgetown glasses will be a reality for those guests at a recent send-off salute. This occurred at the home of Georgetown University alumna Janet Daley Duval (who has three degrees from the university) and her husband, recently retired Judge Stanwood Duval, where the thematic party favors were white sunglasses with “Georgetown” and “Hoyas” written on the temples. More noted wording came in the suggestions to incoming freshmen, such as “Cheer on Coach Ewing and the basketball team at the Verizon Center” and “Cool off in Dahlgren Fountain after posing for a photo on (university founder) John Carroll’s lap.”
Decorative touches were the balloons in the Georgetown colors of blue and gray; the alumni club’s banner draped along the railing; and kitchen magnets for the students listing “10 Things to Do at Georgetown before You Graduate.” Included were the two above-mentioned. More wisdom came from the alums, who, following tradition at the New Student Send-Off, each offered one piece of advice.
Georgetown Club President Matthew Payne, who was joined by fiancée Melissa Montelaro, welcomed the students and the alums. He previously served as a law clerk for Judge Duval, who, with Janet, is eagerly awaiting the Payne-Montelaro wedding. Club treasurer and secretary, in turn Juan Linares and Sara Lewis, were among the VIPs.
New students Winston Ardoin, Christopher Beebe, Lena Decker, Daniel Lovett, and Emma Woodruff, were joined by their family members. They made rounds, too, with Ted Laborde, Patrick Willis, Patricia Murret, Mason and Jennifer Couvillon, Suzanne Ciaccio Graffeo, Michael Ciaccio, Marshall Fitz, Peter Michell, Bo Lagarde, Bill Riviere, Elizabeth Rainey, Charles Tiblier, and Greg Feeney.
Some of their chatter as they moved around the spread of delicious noshes (jambalaya, wraps, big cookies) was about the 1789 founding of the university by Jesuit priests; the 11 students of the class of 2021 from the alumni club’s region of south Louisiana and southern Mississippi; and the nickname “Hoyas,” which comes from a cheer, “Hoya Saxa,” a combination of Greek and Latin. While the main campus is in the historic Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C., the university also has satellite programs in Doha, Qatar; Alanya, Turkey; and Fiesole, Italy. There, the school’s offerings are held at Villa Le Balze, which was donated by the Marquesa Margaret Rockefeller de Larrain (aka Margaret Rockefeller Strong), the granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller.
1848 and Present Partying
The Memphis-located Rhodes College was founded in 1848 and annually draws a large contingent of incoming freshman from the Greater New Orleans area. There are 20 matriculating now. For the Summer Send-Off Reception of 2017, Molly and Kristen Baumer and freshman son Vincent opened their home on Broadway, where red and black balloons; hydrangeas and roses by Steve Baker (Ambrose Garden); and Chez Nous catering were among the attractions. Beelines were made for the cocktail crab cakes, beef roulades and JCB Creations Lynx cookies.
Mike Palazzolo, Rhodes senior development officer, welcomed a gathering that included 2021’s Miriam Ellis and parents Anna and John; William Heurtin and alum dad Jim; John Adler and parents Elizabeth and Mickal; Barrett Leonhard and parents Jan and Tom; Sarah Nieland and parents Kathy and Chris; and Patrick Rees with parents Jacki Meriwether and Barney Rees. Also, Abigail Morici.
More on the Rhodes roster were Sandy and McNeil Kemmerly with son John, alumna Debbie and Tim Verlander, Meredith Graf, Allison and Patrick Mulhern (parents of senior Molly), senior Maggie McCormick, Pamela and Gary Braedt (parents of Jake Rothschild), and alum Suzanne Perlis and daughter Caroline. Peter and Meredith Tufton’s nametags had a listing of five alum children. With them was recent graduate Meredith, who will be leaving for Scotland soon to attend graduate school.