The College of Saint Elizabeth said a big THANK YOU to a group of donors at the annual President’s Council Dinner on September 20, 2012, at the Madison Hotel. The grand ballroom was once again filled with CSE supporters, many of whom are alumnae/i, who demonstrated through their generosity their commitment to the College. The 448-member President’s Council is made up of trustees, alumnae/i, parents, students, faculty, corporations, foundations, and other friends who have contributed $1,000 or more in the current fiscal year and Lifetime members whose cumulative gifts are in excess of $100,000.
Deborah McCreery, CSE vice president of Institutional Advancement, welcomed the group, announcing that $2.3 million had been raised, and said, “I want to thank you all for coming this evening and for your generosity to the College of Saint Elizabeth. I am proud to be part of this community, and it has been a wonderful year getting to know many of you. It’s so heartwarming to see how you love the College and one another.”
Shannon Tipton, ’13, then sang Song of Prayer for America. She was followed by CSE President Sister Francis Raftery, who remarked, “Tonight is a night of thanksgiving and gratitude. You have made a difference in the life of the College of Saint Elizabeth, and, more importantly, in the lives of our students.”
This year’s honoree and recipient of the President’s Award was Elizabeth A. Dangler, ’69, who has been a CSE trustee and a member of its development and marketing committee since 2011. She also serves as alumna trustee liaison between the CSE board and the CSE Alumnae/i Association, as well as a class agent. For the past two years, Dangler has co-chaired the College’s annual Scholarship Benefit, raising more than $200,000 for CSE student scholarships.
Dangler looked out at the audience that included her family, friends, and former classmates, and remarked, “This award is not about me. It is about all of you here tonight and our connection with the College of Saint Elizabeth. You see, all of you sitting here tonight have a story, a story that connects you to the College of Saint Elizabeth.
“Let me ask you to think of a word (s) that best expresses your story with the college,” Dangler continued. “Do any of these sound familiar: ‘Expanded my horizons, took me out of my comfort zone, challenged me; love of service; respect, self-esteem, self-confidence. Oh, I shouldn’t forget fun and life-long friendships.’ These are the gifts that the College of Saint Elizabeth gave to you and me starting on the day we walked onto this campus. For this I am grateful. Now it is up to you and me to share our stories so others can share in these special gifts. And inspire others to give back to the College of Saint Elizabeth.”
Recent graduate Rebecca Nelson, ’09, who attended CSE with her twin sister, Nicole, spoke of her experiences at the College. “When I first stepped onto the campus of CSE, I knew this was the place I wanted to be,” she remembered. “The College of Saint Elizabeth is a place where women are valued, encouraged to use their voice for change, and taught to empower and to transform the world with their knowledge and actions. That is exactly what I wanted to do.”
While a student at CSE, Nelson encountered personal problems that jeopardized the continuation of her education. As she and Nicole were planning to leave CSE, they were granted scholarships that allowed them to stay. Remembers Rebecca, “For the first time, I felt like everything was going to be okay and for the first time, I truly broke down and cried. Not because I was sad this time, but because I never realized all the love and joy that surrounded me. I realized CSE was my second home and that all of you who support our College were my second family. Like many other students, without your financial help, I would have never reached the finish line to my degree. Your support created opportunities for Nicole and me and continues to do so for countless other students who would never have received that coveted diploma and the doorways of opportunity because of it.”
At the end of the evening that included music and dancing, the Council members left for home, taking with them the gratitude of the entire College of Saint Elizabeth.