Stan Cramer, formerly an investigative journalist for KCTV, served as the Gaudeamus Emcee from 2009 to 2016. He and his wife Suzan will be honored as the Angels Among Us award recipients at Gaudeamus 2017.
When I first started emceeing Gaudeamus in 2009, I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve emceed other charity fundraising events in which the audience didn’t seem engaged in the mission of the organization. So why emcee Gaudeamus? Because this audience is truly interested in the cause and making Catholic education possible to those who can’t afford it is essential.
I’m a product of Catholic education and really started to understand the need when my grade school closed because families couldn’t afford to send their kids there and the school couldn’t afford to stay open. There was nothing like CEF available. I can only imagine the grief parents must have felt.
So, how did I first get involved? CEF’s Michael and Patty Morrisey invited my wife Suzan and me to attend an early Gaudeamus dinner. It was different from my other event experiences. Oh, there was plenty of networking and socializing, but once the program started it was all about caring for the kids and making sure they have access to Catholic education. Donations soared.
After the event, Michael asked for my critique of the evening and I told him he seemed stretched thin and perhaps he should relegate the job of emceeing to someone else. And that’s when I had an “Uh oh” moment. The critique request had to be a set up because I was the “someone else” he had in mind.
Emceeing Gaudeamus is easy because the audience and constituents truly care. You can sense it from the podium and you can see it in the numbers as hundreds of new scholarships are awarded every year.
It’s been a wonderful experience. As I’ve said so many times emceeing Guadeamus is worthwhile and easy. I just tie the pieces together. Everyone else does the hard job of building the pieces. It should pay dividends for many years to come.