The Women for Shepherd University (WSU), sponsored by the Shepherd University Foundation, hosted their second annual spring event, "Embracing Change with Style and Grace: Panel Discussion, Fashion Show, and High Tea," April 13 in the Erma Ora Byrd Hall atrium.
More than 85 alumnae, friends, and faculty attended the event. It included a panel discussion focused on dealing positively with grief and achieving an engaged and fulfilling lifestyle after retirement. The panel featured Denise Watterson, bereavement coordinator of Hospice of Frederick County, Maryland, and Mary Ellen Waltemire, a certified life and leadership coach. Ann Watson, dean of the Scarborough Library, was moderator.
A fashion show and high tea followed the discussion during which table hostesses served guests from their own tea services, a detail coordinated by planning committee members Sue Mentzer-Blair and Anne Anikis.
Planning committee member Bev Hughes emceed the fashion show which featured outfits from Aspire Boutique in Frederick, Maryland, and reFINEments Consignment in Shepherdstown. Proprieters Eileen Foley-Breck of Aspire and Judi Platz of reFINEments selected casual and dressy looks highlighting the unique experiences of boutique and consignment shopping. Mary Kay beauty consultant Lisa Griffin provided make-up for the models.
"Embracing Change with Grace and Style provided a great mix of serious topics blended with the fun of fashion and tea. I have enjoyed the reflective and timely panel discussion coupled with the opportunity to connect with other women in our community," said WSU planning committee member and hostess Mary "Peachy" Staley. She said friends who joined her said they were grateful for an opportunity to experience the Shepherd University community through such a women-centered activity.
"The panel, tea, and fashion show provided a wonderful opportunity for me to grow in my knowledge of aging topics while having a great afternoon with some dear friends," she said. "It was a marvelous way to spend a Sunday afternoon."
At the event Monica Lingenfelter, executive vice president of the Shepherd University Foundation, talked about the WSU's newest initiative, Women Investing in Shepherd (W.I.SH.) She said the program is a twist on a women's giving circle. It will issue grants to both Shepherd University projects and those from the community at large. In honor of the initiative, each attendee received a star cookie cutter to encourage her to reach for the stars in making a difference.
A raffle of gift baskets donated by local businesses, hostesses, and guests concluded the event. Green Bamboo Skin Care in Boonsboro, Maryland, Karen Fenwick of the North Forks School of Equitation, the Briar Patch in Williamsport, Md., Heavenly Garden Gift Shop in Shepherdstown and Lynn Ogelsby provided the themed baskets and special items.
"This event was a great way to cap off the first full year of the Women for Shepherd University group," said Meg Peterson, Shepherd University Foundation account and project manager, who coordinates WSU events. "It was exciting to see so many new faces among women who have participated previously. The planning committee will be getting together in early May to plan for next year, and we'd love to see everyone back in fall 2014."
For more information about WSU or W.I.SH or to join the planning committee, contact Peterson at Shepherd University Foundation, P.O. Box 5000, Shepherdstown, WV 25443, 304-876-5021, firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.shepherd.edu/fndtnweb.