President Peter P. Mercer and Dr. Jacqueline Ehlert-Mercer hosted an Etiquette Dinner for graduating Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) students on May 1 at the Havemeyer House. Guest of Honor Theresa Salameno led the etiquette instruction with “Manners Matter,” teaching student attendees about the origins, practicalities, and applications of etiquette in different settings.
Mrs. Salameno and her husband, Lawrence, are long time supporters of Ramapo College and have been instrumental in the establishment of numerous scholarships and capital projects at the Mahwah campus. Salameno grew up in England and graduated with honors as a certified chef and earned a degree in Hospitality Management. Her many clients included members of Britain’s Royal Family.
"Dining Etiquette is becoming increasingly more important in today’s world as approximately 50% of business is finalized at the dining table and it is interesting to note that both Cornell and Harvard Universities have introduced Business Etiquette into their curriculum,” said Salameno. “The protocol of International business is now a priority in order to forge ahead in the global market and working with the EOF students is a wonderful opportunity to give these outstanding young men and women the professional polish to enter the business world."
Joined by EOF, Institutional Advancement, and the President’s Office staff, the 49 student attendees learned about host and hostess expectations, seating parameters, place settings, how to pass food across the table, and how to juggle a cocktail in one hand and an appetizer in the other while at a networking event.
Students were also taught business etiquette such as sending thank you notes after an event, proper business card exchange, the appropriate use of email, telephone do’s and don’ts, and proper attire. Participants engaged in several exercises, challenging them to identify and correct the etiquette mistakes in various scenarios.
“I am delighted that Theresa accepted my invitation to conduct a seminar on etiquette for our Educational Opportunity Fund students. It is very gratifying to work with Theresa who is such a good friend to me personally and to Ramapo College,” said Dr. Ehlert-Mercer.
The Etiquette Dinner marks the end of the EOF students’ undergraduate education at Ramapo and provides them with the opportunity to reflect with the Mercers on the previous four years and to celebrate their future achievements.
The mission of the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) at Ramapo College of New Jersey is to provide access to higher education and support for highly motivated students who exhibit the potential for success, but who come from families/communities disadvantaged by low income and a lack of access to quality educational preparation necessary to attend college. The EOF program provides such students full-time admission to the college, and the support needed to maintain their continued enrollment through graduation. This support includes grants and scholarships minimizing the financial burden of college attendance; and services designed to foster academic success and scholarship, promote social responsibility, and involve students in connecting their education to the world of work and graduate study.