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On Thursday, Oct. 20 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Marist seniors gathered atop Tenney Stadium in the Hospitality Suite to partake in the 2017 Senior Class Beer Tasting Event. Sponsored by the Senior Class Gift Committee along with the Office of College Advancement, a group of 100 senior students selected at a first come first serve basis learned about the craftsmanship and sensory experience behind craft beer.

Kristin Manhardt, Assistant Director of Annual Giving at the Office of College Advancement, helped plan the event alongside student representatives from the Senior Class Gift Committee.

Katie Kilgallen and Daniel Luise

Katie Kilgallen and Daniel Luise

Katie Kilgallen, President of the Class of 2017, giggles, “This is all just so fun! I love seeing everyone’s smiling faces!”

The committee has been planning the event since late August, and their endeavors will continue throughout the year as part of the Senior Class Gift Campaign and Marist Fund. The campaign is an ongoing effort which persists until the current seniors graduate. A portion of the money raised from planned events is accumulated, totaled and presented to President Yellen in check form during May’s baccalaureate mass as a portion of the Marist Fund.

The “gift” is a portion of the Marist Fund which is, as Manhardt describes, “An unrestricted fund on campus available at the end of each fiscal year. The funds raised are given back and used where needed most: internships, campus updates, etc.” The goal of each class year is to increase the money raised from the previous year; the Class of 2016 having raised 49% of the goal. This year is already off to a good start as an increase is expected, according to Manhardt.

“We hope to instill in students the idea of giving back to Marist in whatever way. Whether it’s alumni events, internship opportunities—just to bring about a culture of positive and attentive, future Red Foxes,” Manhardt says.

Paul McGann, a lifetime beer aficionado and pharmacy technician from Brewster, N.Y., has been invited by Marist for the past two years to educate seniors during the tasting. He admits his love for beer began during his 12 years in the Navy, four years on active duty in the Pacific and eight in the reserves. Upon a stint in Hong Kong, McGann claims he found the only Guinness around, and confesses his favorite beer hails from Australia. He has been able to travel to all over the world, visiting five different continents, all the while keeping his eye out for the best brews.

Seniors Julianna Pokorney, Kelly Bischoff, Marlene Krajewski, and Kinlin O'Brien

Seniors Julianna Pokorney, Kelly Bischoff, Marlene Krajewski, and Kinlin O’Brien

“I look for the drinkability—that’s always important,” McGann ponders. “How it feels in the mouth. But I’m mainly interested in the craftsmanship behind it. Craft beer compared to Budweiser, Coors, Miller—there’s no comparison.”

McGann names Poughkeepsie’s local Millhouse Brewery, Keegan’s in Kingston, N.Y., Newburgh Brewing Company and the Peekskill Brewery as the best local spots to grab a classic, old school ale.

When pressed about possible prejudice towards wine, he admits with a grin, “I can’t drink wine. It tastes like grape juice that went bad—I can’t enjoy it.”

Students purchased tickets for $15, as registration began on Tuesday, Oct. 11. Registration was supposed to begin at 11 a.m., but some technical difficulties ensued and instead the time was pushed back to around 2 p.m.

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