2nd Annual Southern Soiree to Provide Direct Support for Students with Financial Need

Walsh University President, Dr. Tim and Drenda Collins are celebrating their southern heritage while doing their part to help address student financial need by hosting A Southern Soirée Dinner and Auction to help bridge the financial gap for Walsh University students. The event will be held on Saturday, May 20, beginning at 5 p.m. at the Walsh University Hoover Park Dance Hall and Grounds.

“We know many of our students struggle financially, coming from difficult circumstances for the promise of a Walsh education,” said President Collins. “When students experience financial stress, it impacts every area of their lives from their academic performance and ability to perform at a high level to their overall health and future success. The inspiration for the Southern Soirée came out of the harsh reality that too many students are unable to complete their education due to a lack of money. It breaks our hearts! We have set a goal of $100,000 for this year’s event and need help making it a reality … to make attaining a Walsh education a reality for our students.”

The inaugural Southern Soirée last year generated an amazing $70,000 in direct support for students. While guests enjoyed the Southern hospitality and meeting President and Mrs. Collins, they also had the opportunity to engage with students and learn about the great things happening at Walsh University.

For this elegant affair, guests are encouraged to wear their finest Southern attire such as seersucker jackets, bow ties, chiffon and pearls.  As they arrive, they’ll be offered a glass of sweet tea or a cocktail to enjoy while they peruse the silent auction items, sponsor a magnolia to be placed on the Magnolia Tree of Dreams, enjoy a whiskey tasting, take a chance on the wine pull, purchase tickets for the luxury raffle which includes items such as a half-carat diamond necklace and couples massage, and enjoy live music performed by Walsh University students. The live auction features a beach house getaway, out of town experiences and more.

Inspired by the Magnolia tree, a staple in Southern gardens that delights people with its lovely blossoms in early to mid-spring, and a symbol of luck and stability, the Magnolia Tree of Dreams, a signature sponsorship of this event, represents the dreams of Walsh students to complete their degrees. The tree begins bare and is filled with beautiful hand-crafted magnolias designed by the Crafty Cavs.  Magnolia sponsorships are available for $500 each before and during the Southern Soirée.

The $150 per person cost includes a wonderful Southern meal, open wine and beer bar and whiskey tasting in the Whiskey River Saloon. To sponsor a magnolia or to make a reservation, visit