End of summer
The Windsor Court Hotel was the venue for the Commodore’s talks as Vanderbilt University’s annual commencement party brought together the VU family in the Greater New Orleans area, home to approximately 400 alumni. Special honorees in the area were the recruits, Class of 2026 and their parents. The first-years and their high schools were present Jasmine Ferrier, St. Mary’s Dominican High School; Colin Pelletierre and Shreyash Singh, Jesuit High School; Paige Restell, Mount Carmel Academy; Bailey Haynes, Ursuline Academy; and Cecil Oliver, Lillian Powers and Carolina Prieto, Isidore Newman School. The latter are mother and father, Mauricio and Susan Prieto, are now “Double (Commo-) Dore” parents. An older daughter Sofia is the class of 2024
As they have done for more than four decades, Daryl and Luellen Berger extended a household hand, joined in the following years by their children and their spouses. Darryl (class of ’69) has been a VU board member for over 25 years and is now a trustee emeritus. They are also listed in the invitations as hosts for the 2022 meeting Corinne and Darryl Berger Jr., Daphne and Brandon Bergerand with Amanda, Ryan Berger, who welcomed everyone and introduced the special guest, Nathan Greene, the university’s vice chancellor for government and community relations. Among Vanderbilt’s strengths, he said, “is the affinity and proximity to Nashville.”
The invitation to the annual event, formerly billed as a summer send-off, came from Vanderbilt University | Alumni Association and New Orleans Branch. Its president is Roland Wagespackwho toured the party with his wife Jessica. Other notable individuals include parents of freshmen Kelly and David Oliver and Dolores and Brad Powersand former parents of ‘Double Dore’. Michael and graduate Amy Favreau Bell, whose daughters Agnes Robson Bell and Leighton Bellwere the 2017 and 2014 graduates, respectively.
Milling was also a longtime VU supporter Michael Schlenker (’86) and partner Don Schwen; former football player Brandon Smith (’05) with Tiffany; Tommy Gamar (’89); Arlene Cooper, mother of a graduate Barrett; and Nairy Ramsay (’97 and ’00), which wore VU’s black and gold colors. (As well as others.)
They, like dozens of others, interrupted the conversation with Pasha. Enticing all were delicious servings of shrimp, crab cakes, sushi, canapés and Vandy cookies. Pianist John Royen played musical numbers with a cheerful rendition of Cole Porter and Gershwin, as well as a few local favorites, for Launch levity.
Wahoos Who! Greetings for sending
Mary Hassinger Schmidtgraduate of the University of Virginia and husband Justin opened their Garden District home, as they have done before, for the annual UVA send-off, which drew about 90 attendees. They count a son/new graduate in the Schmidt family Calder (’22) and daughters Connery (’24) and Come on (’26), a graduate of the Louise S. McGehee School. In addition to her, incoming students at the Schmidts’ were Margaret Barham, High School St. Frederick in Monroe, daughter of Catherine and Wilson Barham; from the Dominican Republic, Sarah Landry, whose parents they are Marcel Landry and the late Keith Landry (UVA Law School ’92), and Kate Weissdaughter of Martha Carr and Rob Weiss; and by Newman, Sarah Henry, Nina LeBourgeois and Alex Singerrespectively daughters of Miriam and Ned Henry (both ’92), Helen (’89) and Charles Le Bourgeoisand Christy and Jeff (’86 and ’90) singer.
Alums were also observed Gwathmey and Fritz Gomilla with current students Evie and Hampton; alums Ray and Randy Bryan with Lucy; Brad and Leslie Gotzegen with Will; Kim and Jim Rogers with Elizabeth; Alex McCall (second year student); Jessica and Paul Friedlander with Alex; Jennifer and William Stone with Naylor; and two “present” mothers, Colleen McLeod and Sean Donnellonwho represented their absent daughters, Gigi McLeod and Sarah Dowd.
From the University of Charlottesville, Virginia, were senior associate directors Marilyn WrightUVA Parent Program and Josh Stewart, UVA clubs. Local notable alumni and guests included the president of the UVA Club of New Orleans Sarah Allen Harper, Ken Addato, Ashbrook Tullis, Sweet and Ben Dupuis, Kim and Marshall Pageand Becky and Tommy McGovey. For a start.
Chez Nous serves up delicious offerings; JCB Creations confectioned UVA cookies; Villere’s florist arranged flowers in UVA colors of orange and blue; and university-themed decorations (some made by an artist Melissa Henry) were placed around. All in the spirit of the Cavaliers.
The prestigious Ducks Unlimited President’s Council Dinner was held at the National World War II Museum with, among the directors, DU Executive Director Adam H. Putnam as host and Douglas A. “Doug” Schonrock of Memphis as outgoing president. He later handed the gavel to Charles F. Smith. Honorary Trustee of DU Richard A. Lipsey of Baton Rouge was the keynote speaker. The dinner was the highlight of Ducks Unlimited Inc.’s 85th National Convention. of the USA, Canada and Mexico. The convention was held at the New Orleans Marriott on Canal Street.
Ducks Unlimited is a nonprofit organization founded in 1937 to help maintain and conserve land and research important waterfowl nesting, migration and wintering areas. Since its founding, more than 15 million acres of habitat have been preserved, with a goal of adding 508,000 more by 2022.
A Victory Garden salad opened the table’s delights, which were followed by sirloin and citrus seared scallops and a dark chocolate ganache dessert. Black and white bedding added sophistication.
Over 100 council members attended. Local representation came from Christopher Montgomery, volunteer for the earlier Fishing Rodeo; Rod and Elizabeth Rodriguez, representing both the Gustaf W. McIlhenny Foundation and the National World War II Museum; Delacroix President Mike Benge and Sharon; owner/president of Boat Stuf Eric and Sharon Bayer; and Diane Sustendahl Labuiswho recently established the unrestricted John Peter Labouisse III/Ducks Scholarship, a graduate scholarship at the LSU School of Renewable Resources, in honor of her late husband. Luc Laborde, with Sonia, is the school’s interim vice president. They were noticed too Bob Dew, Senior Director of Development Louisiana and Donors of Conservation Pioneer Paul and Beverly Dixon from Shreveport.
Important—and titled—supporters of DU from other countries were Dale and Sarah Hall, John and Judy Tomke, Floridian John Pope, Chad and Jana Manlove, George Dunklin Jr. and Livia, Jim Konkeland Tommy B. Dunavantwidow of William B. “Billy” Dunavant, Dunavant Enterprises, of Memphis, who announced a $1.5 million gift in his memory.