by Rachel Hochendoner, Staff Writer
On Sunday, April 17th, Saint Vincent College and the New Horizon Speaker Series will welcome TLC’s reality show star of The Cake Boss, Bartolo “Buddy” Valastro Jr. He will address students, faculty, staff, administration and other visitors in the Carey Center Auditorium at 3:00 p.m. Admission to this lecture is free; however, students will need to obtain a ticket from the Office of Campus Life. Details about ticket availability will be announced at a later date.
Valastro, a small-business owner has found unprecedented success as co-operator of Carlo’s Bakery, along with several members of the Valastro family in Hoboken, New Jersey. He is also a master-baker whose skills have been nationally recognized by the Food Network and the Today Show.
Initially created for the incoming freshmen classes in the fall 2002 semester, the New Horizon Speaker Series presents easily recognized speakers who are established in a variety of fields. Eventually, the series expanded to invite and include all members of the student body as well as faculty, staff and administrators. According to the website of the Office of Campus Life, the series aims “to encourage the development of a balanced approach to a liberal arts education that seamlessly combines academic and student life.”
However, as Jason Winters, Director of Campus Life, said, “it is hard to get [students] to a lecture.”
In order to encourage students to attend this lecture series, the Student Faculty Administrative Benedictine Committee (SFABC) chooses a speaker for the series every semester who is relatively recognizable to students. Past speakers of this series include actress and singer Della Reese, Jerry Greenfield from Ben & Jerry’s and Bill Nye “The Science Guy.”
Junior Taylor Guido is one of the members who votes for and chooses a speaker.
“We tried to find a big name speaker to get everyone excited,” she said.
According to Winters, “Since [students] pay for it, we want to make it enjoyable, choose someone they want to see.”
Students may not realize that a portion of their one hundred twenty dollar Student Activity Fee, approximately ten dollars, is allotted to the New Horizon Speaker Series. Essentially, the student body pays for the event and the speaker who addresses the Saint Vincent community. Hence, the committee aims to appeal to students’ interests, yet at the same time, ensure that the speaker will address topics relevant to SVC students.
Other committee members share the same sentiment, hoping that Valastro will speak of his experience as a successful small-business owner, benefiting the SVC community and helping the student body by sharing his inspirational story.
“Mr. Valastro was born into his family’s bakery business and learned a great deal from his father, but at only age 17, he lost his father and a great deal of responsibility was placed upon him at such a young age,” psychology professor Dr. Dante Mancini explained. “However, despite this difficult loss and increased pressures, he became extremely successful. Even in the highly competitive restaurant and bakery market in the New York City area, Mr. Valastro has been primarily responsible for distinguishing his family’s business.”
As a student, Guido also recognizes the benefit of Valastro’s success and story, as well as the benefit of other speakers of the series.
“I encourage everyone to go to all of the different speakers that visit campus, and I make it a point to always try to make it to speakers because it gives us all an opportunity to learn something,” she said.
According to Winters, “it will be an enjoyable event. It will give everyone the opportunity to come to a lecture that stimulates interest.”