Students express what Party on the Plaza means to them

Sep 09, 2021

This month, Party on the Plaza returns to Newman University with a Renaissance flair. The event boasts dinner, drinks, entertainment and an atmosphere of medieval revelry that is sure to delight attendees. 

In addition to being a wonderful way for alumni and friends of the university to spend a Saturday evening, the profits from tickets and auction items directly benefit many students.

Party on the Plaza

Funding student scholarships

Carolina Mariscal — a senior studying biology and psychology — received a full ride to Newman, which would not have been possible without the funds from events like Party on the Plaza.

“I am a recipient of the St. Newman Scholarship, and that was one of the biggest determining factors in coming to Newman, as it made tuition much less of a financial burden,” Mariscal said.

Carolina Mariscal
Carolina Mariscal

While she likely would have commuted to and from campus without her scholarship, being a St. Newman recipient allowed her to live on campus, which led to greater immersion in academic and social life.

“My scholarship required me to live on campus, and that is an experience I would not have had otherwise because I would have just lived at home. Living on campus has allowed me to be so much more engaged in school and be able to use the campus more than commuter students.

“Also, through the Newman Scholarship, I got matched up with my roommate Gabby Alténor in my freshman year. I wouldn’t have gotten as close to her if it wasn’t for being roommates.”

Recent alumna Savana Tholken also received scholarship opportunities funded by Party on the Plaza. Tholken was an Adorers of the Blood of Christ (ASC) Community Leadership Scholar.

Being an ASC Community Leadership Scholar exposes students to humanitarian efforts, allowing them to assist and improve their community.

“We give back to our community through Newman or through other nonprofit organizations each year by volunteering up to 90 hours. Being a part of that effort has been amazing.”

ASC Community Leadership Scholar Angela de Souza mans the silent auction at a Party on the Plaza event.
ASC Community Leadership Scholar Angela de Souza mans the silent auction at a Party on the Plaza event.

Providing opportunities to transform society

Tholken worked with women attempting to leave abusive relationships through StepStone Ministries, a collaborative ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph and the ASC sisters. StepStone’s mission is to “respond to the critical needs of survivors of domestic violence by providing supporting services and transitional housing to nurture lives of stability and hope.”

“I made an impact at StepStone, and I have also volunteered 200 hours through Newman at (Ascension) Via Christi, where I was able to talk to doctors, nurses and patients, and just do my best to be an example for Newman.”

Tholken’s nursing studies have led to fruitful vocational opportunities beyond Newman. She passed her board exams upon graduation and will soon be employed at a local surgery and ambulatory center as a circulating nurse.

Students prepare silent auction baskets for the 2016 Party on the Plaza.
Students prepare silent auction baskets for the 2016 Party on the Plaza.

“Newman University is more than just a school to me. It is a place where I have found community, it is a place where I have married the love of my life, and it’s a place that I’m going to visit for the rest of my life and someday show to my children.”

Make a degree of difference today

Attending Party on the Plaza is just one way to financially support current and future Newman students. All money raised at Party on the Plaza goes directly toward student financial aid.

Those unable to attend in person can still support the event through donating or bidding on silent auction items or contributing to the Newman fund on the event website.

(From left to right) Milan and Yelando Johnson attend the 2019 Party on the Plaza.
(From left to right) Milan and Yelando Johnson (Bachelor of Social Work program director, assistant professor) attend the 2019 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 or by contacting Laura Hartley at 316-942-4291 ext. 2161.

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

Reserve your Party on the Plaza tickets today

All money raised at Party on the Plaza goes toward Newman University student financial aid.