Student King, Queen Unveiled for Mardi Gras
Both surprised and humbled by their nominations, the two look forward to representing the student body at the party on Fat Tuesday, “A Mardi Gras Tradition,” at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 12 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston. The gala is the University’s premier scholarship fundraising event of the year.
Jester, who works in the Institutional Advancement office at UST, is active with volunteer organizations on campus including the Society of Macrina and Best Buddies International.
Lauer, a men’s basketball player, is an intern with the Blue Cure Foundation and enjoys mentoring at the various basketball camps and events.
Jester Reinforces Diverse Friendship with Service
Chloe Jester, an international development major and economics minor, cherishes the friendships she has been able to forge at St. Thomas. As the college buddy director of Best Buddies International, a nonprofit volunteer organization that facilitates building one-on-one friendships between students and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Jester takes pride in building relationships that help special education individuals connect to the community.
Jester has been educated in Catholic schools in Houston her whole life: St. Anne’s Catholic School and Incarnate Word Academy. She planned on branching out and attending a secular school, but, during her visit to St. Thomas, she said she instantly fell in love.
“The feel of home and comfort was unlike any place I’d ever been,” Jester said. “St. Thomas had the programs and classes I was interested in, and it gives me the opportunity to live away from home, but I’m still able to have dinner with my family on Sundays.”
Her first impression of UST was validated because of her involvement with programs, such as the Society of Macrina, her relationships with professors, such as Dr. Michele Simms, and the chance to work in her desired field.
Jester plans to move to Dallas after graduation in May and pursue work in fundraising for nonprofit organizations.
Lauer Seeks Slam Dunk in Sports Marketing
Barrett Lauer, a marketing major, is already making great strides in pursing his goals of working in sports marketing. A 6-foot-3-inch guard on the UST men’s basketball team, Lauer works alongside Gabe Canales ’99 as an intern for the Blue Cure Foundation, an organization that strives to promote awareness about prostate cancer and encourage prevention through diet and lifestyle habits.
“Being a basketball player, people usually know who we are, and I like to be a role model for younger students and kids,” Lauer said. “With Blue Cure, we want to grow, expand and raise awareness about this important issue.”
Lauer is working on a video campaign that produces a video each day of someone, mostly UST men’s basketball players, encouraging people to investigate the Blue Cure Foundation. Getting first-hand experience in this type of marketing, Lauer knows it will serve him well in the future.
“I’m looking at coaching or sports marketing for my career,” Lauer said. “It would be fantastic to do sports marketing, maybe working in Oregon for Nike or an NBA team.”
Head Coach Todd Smith recruited Lauer from Montgomery High School. Lauer said balancing athletics and class was strenuous at times, but he had the support of his professors to stay ahead of the curve. He said he had an evening class with the Rev. Dempsey Rosales-Acosta, and he helped him keep up with the work load despite his basketball obligations.
“Taking two classes with Father Dempsey was incredible,” Lauer said. “He’s so passionate about teaching and the students. We talk for a while every time I see him. We’ve really formed a connection.”
Get Your Tickets to the Mardi Gras Gala
See Jester and Lauer at the 63rd Annual Mardi Gras Gala. Tickets are $500 each and discounted tickets are $200 each for faculty, staff and alumni. For more information, visit stthom.edu/MardiGrasGala.
Jester said it’s important for donors to see the accomplishments of students at St. Thomas.
“From a fundraising perspective, it’s good for donors to see where the money goes and how it’s being used,” Jester said. “It’s also fun to celebrate St. Thomas, our Catholic heritage and just have a party together.”
The event will honor the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist who serve the University’s students, faculty and staff and exemplify the model of religious life. The University awards more than $11.6 million in scholarships and grants to students annually.