What to expect at 2021 Party on the Plaza: Return to the Renaissance

Sep 03, 2021

After the traditional fundraising event was modified last year due to COVID-19, the Newman University Party on the Plaza is back, and it’s bigger than ever.

This year’s event, themed Return to the Renaissance, will take place Saturday, Sept. 18, at Founders Plaza on campus.

Fellowship on Founders Plaza

The event will kick off at 4:30 p.m. with an optional Mass in St. John’s Chapel. At 5:30 p.m., festivities begin at Founders Plaza, including drinks, social time, games, a silent auction and a performance by the Irish band, Knocknasheega.

Video: Meet the Irish band, Knocknasheega, and hear a sample of their music.

Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m., followed by a live auction featuring auctioneer Charlie Moon and Master of Ceremonies J.T. Klaus (alumnus of 1987). The evening will conclude with a fireworks show sponsored by Klaus Enterprises.

Folks smile as they converse at Party on the Plaza.

“This event is all about students and raising money to help the students of today be the people that they want to be tomorrow, but we know that in order to get there, many of these students need our help,” said Laura Hartley, director of alumni and campus events. “Coming to this event and spending money on an auction item or on the games is one fantastic way of helping.”

Party on the Plaza is open to all, but reservations are required. Individual ticket prices are $120, and all proceeds help fund Newman student scholarships.

Students dress in Renaissance attire for the 2019 Party on the Plaza.
Students dress in Renaissance attire for the 2019 Party on the Plaza.

Event sponsorships are also available for purchase. VIP sponsors this year are David (‘01, ’11) and Glenna Borho and Dale Withers.

A sentimental history

The very first Renaissance Faire at Kansas Newman College was organized by students as a class project in 1975.
The very first Renaissance Faire at Kansas Newman College was organized by students as a class project in 1975.

Hartley said that the Return to the Renaissance theme was chosen as a way to pay homage to the Renaissance Faires that Newman used to hold — events that eventually became a fundraiser similar to Party on the Plaza.

“Those faires brought people from all over to our campus, and putting on the event was a true community endeavor with students, staff, faculty and alums all pitching in to make it a success,” she said. “We want Party on the Plaza to have that same feel, so it seems only appropriate to make that our theme.”

Guests are welcome and encouraged to don their favorite Renaissance-style outfits, however, costumes are not required to enjoy the event.

A lifelong impact

Dana Beitey, director of alumni relations, said she loves the general sense of joy from those who attend and the fact that everyone is there to help raise money for student scholarships.

“There are so many great causes out there, and this one is no exception,” she said. “Raising money for scholarships to provide help for the next generation of thinkers, shakers and doers, that’s what Party on the Plaza is all about. The money raised adds to the scholarship bucket in order to provide some much-needed financial relief to really deserving students.”

People laugh and mingle at their tables at Party on the Plaza.

Reservations are required for Party on the Plaza: Return to the Renaissance, and the final day to reserve tickets is Wednesday, Sept. 15. Renaissance-style costumes are encouraged, but not required. Tickets may be purchased at wichitapop.com or by contacting Laura Hartley at 316-942-4291 ext. 2161.

Those unable to attend in person can still support the event through donating or bidding on silent auction items. Every dollar donated directly benefits student financial aid.

Special thanks to Dale Withers and David (’01, ’11) and Glenna Borho for being this year’s VIP Sponsors of Party on the Plaza. View the full list of presenting, event and community sponsors, as well as the schedule of events at wichitapop.com.

A woman stands to make a bid on a live auction item at Party on the Plaza.