A rainy Friday evening did not put a damper on Cabrini University’s annual Visionaries Gala. On Nov. 2, nearly 200 members of the Cabrini community joined the University to honor the power of education and celebrate individuals who embody the true spirit of Cabrini.
The black-tie-optional event, held in the Historic Woodcrest Mansion, included a awards ceremony, silent auction, dinner, and dancing.
President Donald B. Taylor, PhD offered a warm welcome to guests.
“To all here tonight, you give students the chance to come to Cabrini and the opportunity to discover what it means for them to live an authentic, passionate life of purpose,” Taylor said. “Please raise your glass and join me in celebrating the community of visionaries that make up the Cabrini University family—Cheers!”
The first award of the evening, the Compass Award, recognizes someone whose extended, continuous service works to promote and defend dignity for all, was presented to Rebecca (Becky) Bradbeer (’94).
“Becky is a humanitarian, focusing much of her philanthropy on organizations that serve those with disabilities,” Michelle Filling-Brown, Acting Dean for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Associate Professor of English, said. “Becky is a bright light in my life and the lives of so many. Her smile and energy lights up a room.”
Upon receiving the glass-etched award Bradbeer said, “When the email came inviting me to accept the Compass Award tonight – between feelings of ‘why me’ and sheer euphoria and gratitude, I have come to realize that value and impact take many forms.”
Following the Compass Award, Jennifer Wahl (’05) accepted the Luminary Award, an honor given to someone who has inspirational success in their careers, in their communities, and for their impact on the lives of others. Wahl was recently named Pennsylvania's 2018 Teacher of the Year for her commitment to education.
“As I walked across the stage in Hershey last December to accept the award for Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year, I felt I had Cabrini to thank,” Wahl said. “The people at this beautiful institution prepared me for the real world, and inspired me to be the absolute best I could be.”
The final award, the Christopher Award for Extraordinary Leadership, was presented to Barbara Jordan (HON'08) and John Jordan. The Jordans established an endowed fund in 2008 to promote domestic violence education at Cabrini and helped to establish the University’s Barbara and John Jordan Center for Children of Trauma and Domestic Violence Education. This center recently assisted in drafting language for the Pennsylvania Senate Bill 1092 to be signed into law. The bill expands the sentencing for offenses of domestic violence committed in the presence of children, and was approved in late October.
“Domestic violence and sexual assault is an epidemic – it effects every single community regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, or educational background,” John Jordan said. “When Barbara and I were searching for a way to make a more systemic difference in the outcome of our support on this issue, we knew we had found a home when we found Cabrini.”
“We are now covered in the cloth of Cabrini caring and courage carried forward in confidence of a decade of knowledge, experience, and passion,” Barbara Jordan (HON'08) said. Ten years later, after Barbara was awarded an honorary degree from Cabrini for her dedication to social justice, the Jordan Center is a reality.
Following the awards portion of the program, Michael Doyle (’19) shared his experience as a history and secondary education double major, resident assistant, and three-year captain of the men’s basketball team.
Doyle’s heartfelt testimony propelled the evening’s “Make It Happen” live appeal. The appeal, along with sponsorships, donations, and silent auction revenue exceeded the University’s overall event fundraising goal.
All proceeds from the Visionaries Gala will go toward enhancing the student experience, helping to fund our mission to provide an Education of the Heart for all students.
To view all the photos from the event click here.