$100 a plate?
Ed. Note: this is in regards to a celebration for the 100th Anniversary of St. Mary’s Catholic Center, the Catholic Campus Ministry for Texas A&M University. From a letter to the St. Mary’s Development Office.
Why did the planning committee for the 100 year anniversary of Catholic ministry to Texas A&M decide to place such a high price per person to attend this gala?
The committee is pricing out a large portion of former students from St Mary’s who would love to attend, but can’t because of the price. Many are young families with or without children who will not be able to justify the cost, even for such a good cause as St Mary’s. If the cost had been lower, say $30-40 a plate, I think that the Development Office would find that many more people might attend and even find that they are able to make a donation in addition to the cost of the Gala.
St Mary’s means so much to so many people. It would seem to me that an event like this would be cause to bring together as many former students as possible to share what St Mary’s meant to them while they attended Texas A&M. Setting the price at $100 a plate will likely turn people away who would otherwise attend. It sets the tone that only people who can afford to pay are welcome here, and that’s not what St Mary’s is about.
It is also a concern that only a handful of people may find out about this event. When the Aggie Awakening 20th Anniversary reunion came around last fall, it appeared that only those on St Mary’s mailing list found out about it. I talked to several people who were very active with Aggie Awakening who either did not know about the reunion or found out in too little time to plan to attend. To my knowledge, efforts were not made to place advertisements in diocesean newspapers around Texas or in the Texas Aggie Magazine to reach out to those who have lost contact with St Mary’s. By spending a relatively small amount of money in advertising this event, so many more people would have attended because of the opportunity to see old friends, not to mention how much Aggie Awakening touched their lives. In turn, by advertising and reducing the cost to attend the Gala, I feel that more people would feel welcome and want to attend a celebration of St Mary’s ministry to Texas A&M.