CPPD holds annual etiquette dinner for students

Michaela Lumpert, Campus Carrier news editor

 Holly Lynch started the night by addressing students on basic forms of etiquette. Madison Morris | Campus Carrier

The Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD) held the etiquette dinner on Feb. 6, with over 70 students in attendance. Hosted by Holly Lynch, who graduated from Berry in 1994, the dinner taught students general etiquette to use in their future endeavors with employers and clients. 

The dinner, which cost $5 for students, offered a four-course meal to attendees. Sue Tarpley, director of the CPPD, explained that the dinner is mainly about teaching students the rights and wrongs of etiquette in a business setting. During the dinner, she discussed how students learn about the etiquette from Lynch who has a natural love for teaching etiquette. 

 The CPPD catered the dinner with Classic Fare Catering, providing students with the Mocktail Hour and four-course meal. Madison Morris | Campus Carrier

Students learned everything from which utensil to use to which table setting and water is theirs and what conversations starters are appropriate. Lynch wanted students to leave the dinner with an understanding of how to professionally interact with future employers using the proper etiquette. 

After graduating Berry, Lynch knew she had a natural love for etiquette, according to Tarpley. Lynch owns her own catering company called The Season Events and has helped the CPPD for many years. 

The dinner also taught students how to attend a networking buffet, where students could be potentially networking for jobs all while eating and speaking with future employers. Tarpley described that most students do not understand that there are certain manners for each professional setting they are in, and the etiquette dinner serves as way to teach students everything that they might not be thinking about. 

Most importantly, Tarpley believes that the dinner offered students a chance to become comfortable with etiquette and future situations with employers by practicing it in a safe environment. 

 Following Lynch’s address, students started mingling in the “Mocktail Hour” where senior Abby Mayne spoke with other students as if they were in a networking event. Madison Morris | Campus Carrier

“[The dinner] helps people feel comfortable in situations that they don’t normally find themselves in, and practicing that, and being able to ask questions to better understand the right, the wrong, the better ways of etiquette,” Tarpley said. 

This was senior Nick Farmer’s second etiquette dinner. He said that how each time he has been he has learned something new about etiquette that he hopes to use in his future when meeting with clients where etiquette and manners are expected. 

Different organizations across campus also sponsored students to attend the dinner, including both the Bonner scholarship program and the soccer team. 

 Senior Josiah Pratt, junior Mary Clayton McLane and Athletic Director Angel Mason practiced good conversation starters during the four-course meal. Madison Morris | Campus Carrier

Tarpley hopes that in the future, the event would continue to draw in more students so that they can learn about what etiquette is and what its function is for their futures with employers.

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