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Food and fellowship

By Jessie Bazan, communication junior

There aren’t many things in life better than good food and fellowship except, maybe, free food and fellowship.

Being a financially strapped college student, I’ll admit that it was the prospect of a no-charge, home-cooked meal prepared by someone other than Papa John that initially motivated me to sign up for Supper for 12 Strangers. By the end of the night, however, I realized this annual AMUW event was about more than just satisfying my stomach. It was really about comfort, conversation and connection.

On a chilly Saturday evening, eight of us students piled into two cars and made the trek north to the Cedarburg home of our gracious supper hosts, Matt Schroeder and Amy Albrinck Schroeder, Bus Ad ’91, Grad ’01, Marquette’s assistant comptroller. The family’s dogs, Rainy and Lupe, excitedly greeted us as we walked through the door. Not far behind were the couple’s two young children, Ryan and Josie, who were eager to meet the “big kids.”  I kicked off my shoes, grabbed a cup of hot apple cider and immediately felt at home.

Home. That’s what made the night so special. For a couple of hours, we had the chance to get away from the craziness of city life and relax in a loving family home. We were silly as we played board games with Ryan and Josie. We were storytellers as we sat around the living room sharing tales of our world travels. None of us had known Amy or Matt personally before the supper, but we wolfed down their delicious tacos and stretched out on their sofas as if we were in our own homes.     

Afterward, Megan, one of my co-attendees, commented on how comfortable she felt all night. “It wasn’t like we were doing ice-breakers,” she said. “They were more like friend-breakers.”

Luckily, these new friendships didn’t end when the plates are cleared. I already have Jan. 29, 2013, circled on my calendar, the night the AMUW will host Reunion for 12 Friends for all Supper for 12 Strangers participants and families. I hope Lupe and Rainy come, too!

About Supper for 12 Strangers

Since 1973, the Association of Marquette University Women has engaged students, alumni, faculty and staff through its Supper for 12 Strangers program, among other events. Held annually during the first two weekends in November, Supper for 12 Strangers aims to keep the Marquette family connections strong. This year, 185 students participated in 26 suppers around the greater Milwaukee area.

Emily Wacker Schultz, Comm ’04, senior engagement officer in University Advancement, reflects on the program’s family-centered focus.  

“There’s something really special about the Marquette family, and it comes out through opportunities like this.” she says. “When you break bread with someone, it’s a special connection. It’s always been sacred, from Scripture to now.”

After having such positive experiences with Supper for 12 Strangers, Albrinck Schroeder recommends that all Marquette alumni in the area take a turn hosting.

“We’ve kept the meals simple, the atmosphere casual,” she says. “The Marquette students are wonderful young adults that we’d welcome back any time.”

More photos from Supper for 12 Strangers 2012.


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