By: Kristen Maloney, Contributing Writer
The Building Our Community Dinner, hosted by Towson University on April 16 in the West Village Ballrooms and geared toward fostering university and community relations, began with the attending students and community members filling out a square sheet of paper with the three core values they found to be most important. These individual sheets of paper would be later constructed into a quilt that would be hung in the back of the room.
The first of the speakers was Coordinator of Off-Campus Student Services Joyce Herold, who was introduced by Student Government Director of Community Outreach Jon Connelly. Herold encouraged all attendees to reach out and get to know someone they have never met, and specifically recommended that attending students mingle with community members.
Vice President for Student Affairs Deb Moriarty was next up on the podium. She shared her experiences during her early days at TU with the audience, and how there was a “hands-off” approach. Throughout the years she has been here, she said, TU has adopted a more hands-on approach with their students.
“Towson is stronger because of the students and people in the community,” Moriarty said.
After Moriarty stepped down from the stage, there was a brief intermission from speeches, during which time dinner was served.
Once dinner concluded, a showing of “Building our Community: Future Leaders Giving Back,” a short film about the benefits and effects of TU students getting involved in off-campus activities and services, commenced. This film emphasized that getting involved in these services results in an increased level of confidence among students at TU, making them believe they can accomplish anything they put their mind to.
Following the film, Executive Director of Baltimore Collegetown Network Kristen McGuire, took the stage. Throughout her speech, McGuire explained the positive and negative sides to Baltimore and addressed Baltimorean’s opinions of the city as a college town.
Executive Director of the Towson Chamber of Commerce Nancy Hafford followed McGuire on the podium with her presentation of a wide variety of measures that have been and are currently being taken to improve the Towson community. These measures include Feet on the Street, Winterfest, Taste of Towson and the upcoming Towson Row development.
At the dinner’s conclusion, Herold pushed students and community members to push themselves and pass their success and blessings forward to those less fortunate.
“I would encourage you to continue to pursue your best self,” Herold said.