$1 Million Raised "Under the Big Top"
The circus came to the University of St. Thomas, drawing more than 600 revelers who celebrated Fat Tuesday on the Campus Life Mall with circus performances, Midway food and a tantalizing menu orchestrated by Houston restaurateur and chef Michael Cord¨³a. This year’s Mardi Gras Gala, themed “Under the Big Top,” was co-chaired by Odis and Carol Peavy, with UST President Robert Ivany serving as the evening’s Ringmaster. The record-breaking event raised $1 million for the Frances E. Monaghan Scholarship Fund, which enables current and future St. Thomas students to benefit from a values-based education. This year’s honoree was Elizabeth “Liz” Ghrist, who successfully led the University Capital Campaign that raised $67 million for facilities, scholarships and endowments. The Campus Life Mall and many of the surrounding buildings weren’t even built when Ghrist publicly launched the University’s most successful campaign ever in 2001. The Mardi Gras Gala celebration tradition at UST reaches back to the school’s founding in 1947. This year’s event featured Student King Roy Mitchell and Queen Susan Trawick, who described how scholarship funds have impacted their educations at UST.
Other revelers included George and Annette Strake, Salim and Fay Zakhem, Steve and Eva Lynn Dunn, George and Madelyn Farris, Harry and Cora Sue Mach and Downey and Kerri Bridgwater.