Celebrating Heritage

Student volunteer Tracy Nguyen (right) serves delicious treats at this year’s High Tea.

The Newman community comes together annually to celebrate its founders and its strong Catholic heritage

Newman University has a rich history, and every year students, staff, faculty and alumni celebrate its founders and its Catholic traditions during Heritage Month.

The celebration takes place in February and honors the university’s namesake, John Henry Cardinal Newman, and its founders, the Adorers of the Blood of Christ (ASC). Events scheduled throughout the month honor the university’s history and mission.

Heritage Month began in 2015 and has quickly become something many on campus look forward to.

The celebration traditionally begins with a Mass for the ASC founder, Saint Maria De Mattias.

Heritage Month includes popular events such as Homecoming week, a mission talk delivered by Director of Mission Effectiveness Charlotte Rohrbach, ASC, and the extremely popular High Tea, an afternoon tea in the English custom as it would have been during the life of John Henry Cardinal Newman.

The event is put on through the dedication of a large number of volunteers. Associate Professor of English Susan Crane, Ph.D., said, “In a way, it is a testimony to the best part of the character of the university: individual care, attention and patience. The university could cater the event, but the community participation makes it far more personal.”

(l to r) Shirley Rueb, Newman registrar, and Sheryl Stanley, High Tea coordinator, attend the popular annual event.

High Tea is a free, long-standing Newman tradition and social event that welcomes all students, faculty, staff, alumni, ASC sisters and other members of the community to enjoy. It features homemade desserts, cheeses, sandwiches, baked items, salmon and, of course, tea. Many participants attend the get-together in “tea attire,” which often includes dresses, suits, the occasional tuxedo, gloves and many decorative hats.

In addition to tasty treats, a collection of unique tea sets provided by the chair of the High Tea committee, Sheryl Stanley, are displayed throughout the gathering space. These sets, embellished with flowers, range from teapots sporting the British flag to a musical-themed tea set that sits atop the piano.

Stanley, mother of five Newman alumni, easily executes the task of coordinating the event, along with help from student volunteers.

“I love the way it brings everyone together. The whole campus is involved. There’s not only students but faculty and staff and administration. I think that’s why I love it so much,” Stanley said.

High Tea has been an event at Newman since the 1980s, so many generations of faculty, staff and students have been able to attend and carry on the tradition. With the high turnouts and positive responses, it is likely this event will continue for many years to come.