The Show Must Go On
The Show Must Go On
When big events happen at Saint Mary’s College, there’s a dedicated, hard-working team in the background ensuring success. This team includes both staff and students, and Richard Baxter leads the charge. Baxter has seventeen years of experience producing plays, and was previously the director of Creede Repertory Theatre, in Creede, Colo. In his spare time Baxter acts and directs whenever he can, including appearing in Saint Mary’s productions, and directing plays at the South Bend Civic Theatre. As the director of the Office of Special Events, located in O’Laughlin, Baxter says his goal is to try to live the mission of the College. “And then as a part of that, I really gain inspiration by working with the students who come through here.”
This summer there are three summer event managers, and an interim assistant working in the office. Katie Wehrli ’10, Maria Chipman ’11, Kate Habicht ’08, and Emily Addis ’08 will be assisting the regular staff in planning and executing a number of events including conferences, weddings, retreats, and commencements for other higher education institutions. They also manage the residence halls, making room assignments and dealing with whatever issues come up.
Alumna Emily Addis is the interim assistant. “Having the chance to work here is a unique thing,” says Addis. “It gives me the experience in the field that I want to go into, and being able to stay this summer and work allows me to gain that much more experience. I feel really, really fortunate."
Chipman, who is majoring in communications , and business , wants to go into entertainment media such as theatre, film or television. She’s sees Saint Mary’s as offering “that something extra” when she compares it to other colleges. “It really does offer something more and opportunities like this one [event management] are a perfect example of how working and learning go together hand in hand here.”
Wehrli, whose majors are business, and Japanese, intends to get a master’s degree in international business. She’s also a soccer player. “I had a great experience here, being able to play sports and also get a great education.”
Habicht will be attending St. Louis University in the fall, pursuing a master’s degree in public health. Habicht has been the house manager for Moreau since her sophomore year. “I grew to really like it, and I stayed.”
Baxter says that he wants the event managers to gain client experience. “We want them to promote the college; we want them to acquire practical event experience so that they can go out and manage their own events.”
Baxter and his team pull together events that not only impact the Saint Mary’s community, but also the community at large. “You really get a unique opportunity to work with a focused team on a variety of problems,” says Baxter. “There’s no greater feeling than to put the last chair away and think, ‘Wow, look at what we accomplished.’ So that’s what I look forward to.”