Benedictine College's 2018 Scholarship Ball Sees Records Broken

Records Fall at Benedictine's Ball

Published: Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Annually one of the largest and most successful fundraising events in the Kansas City metropolitan area, the Scholarship Ball again set a record as more than 800 alumni and friends of the college raised nearly a million dollars. Emceed by John Holt, news anchor at Fox4 television, the night brought in $976,000 and featured the presentation of the Cross of the Order of St. Benedict to Thomas ’83 and Joan Moyer ’85 Kemlage and Kevin ’89 and Pamela Schaefer ’88 Kramer.

“The Kemlages and Kramers — all four of whom are alums — are two couples who truly serve the Church and the college,” said Benedictine College President Stephen D. Minnis. “Both couples are our good friends and we thank them for their unwavering support of the college and their communities.”

The Ball’s co-chairs, Lené Westerman ’85 and Patrick ’94 and Kate McClard ’93 Carr, were pleased with the record success, especially the Fund-A-Raven event, which brought in more than $740,000, including a $300,000 challenge match. This year, Benedictine College seniors Lucy Defilippis and Landon Downing hosted the Fund-A-Raven and brought their youthful spirit to the donor auction.

“This is such a humbling experience for us to be up here in front of you, watching this generosity actually come to reality,” Defilippis told the crowd. “If it weren’t for your willingness to raise that card, I know I, for one, would not be here today. So, thank you.”

The featured student speaker for the night was Hannah Voss, an English major and Rhodes Scholarship finalist who highlighted the college’s commitment to high academic standards.

“There is no such thing as the perfect Benedictine student: every student has an individual experience, because Benedictine does not allow us to be complacent and blend into a crowd,” she told the audience. “Benedictine College needed me to be greater than my own understanding of myself. If I had gone elsewhere, greatness would not have been asked of me.”

Minnis told the story of the National Finalist Women’s Soccer team and showed how it demonstrated the strength of community, faith and scholarship on the campus and within the students. He told how the team made history on the field — as the highest ranked soccer team ever; the first soccer team to play in a national championship game; the fourth consecutive Heart Tournament Championship, and the fourth consecutive year to reach the national quarterfinals.

“But the real story of this team is how they live out the mission of the college,” he said. “The Women’s Soccer Team is a perfect example of what is happening all over the Benedictine College campus—young people embracing Community, Faith and Scholarship.”

He told how the team studied together, prayed together and worked together on the field to be the best team possible, even while on the road at the national championship tournament.

The night concluded with the presentation of the Cross of the Order of St. Benedict to the Kramers and Kemlages.

In introducing the two couples, President Minnis recalled that many years ago the college created the award that later became the Family of the Year award. “The first recipients of this award were the Moyer family from Nebraska City — the family of Joan Kemlage. And the other recipients were the Schaefer Family — the family of Pam Kramer. And now they are both receiving the Cross tonight — how fitting!”

Click here to see a video presentation about the Kemlages, and to see a video presentation about the Kramers, click here.

Dean of the College Dr. Kimberly Shankman said that she appreciated that the evening highlighted the achievements of women at Benedictine College.

“It was great to see such great role models for women. Our Rhodes Scholar finalist Hannah Voss, the women’s soccer team, especially scholar athletes Rosie McShane and Anna Romano — and then our great students Camrie Ventry and Sydney Wolf. Also, our awardees, former board of director Pam Kramer and Joan Kemlage. Taken as a whole, Saturday night was a celebration of strong women who are doing amazing things and preparing to be America’s next leaders in education, medicine, engineering, business and the military — as well as wives and mothers.”

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging.  It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.