Image Courtesy of Zachary Lichter

By Zachary Lichter

On Wednesday, April 27, 2022, the Catholic University community celebrated President John and Jeanne Garvey’s farewell with a farewell Mass in the St. Vincent de Paul Chapel and a barbecue called the “Garvey-Q” on the Pryzbyla lawn.

The festivities began at 5:15 pm when the CUA community gathered in the St. Vincent de Paul Chapel for a farewell mass to the Garveys. Father Andrzej Brzezinski was the celebrant, and he began mass by welcoming the Garveys during the Introductory Rights. At the end of mass, Fr. Andrzej gave them a blessing, and as soon as mass was over, the Garvey-Q was ready to start in front of the Pryzbyla. 

The Garvey-Q began at 6:15 p.m. with people lining up to receive food. They also had the opportunity to write thank-you cards to the Garveys and to thank the Garveys in person. They also had a chance to get a cookie from the Captain Cookie Food Truck in the McMahon Parking Lot.

“He has just the most fantastic stories and he has just the most fantastic memory,” said nursing major and Spanish minor Zachary Brotzman. “I met him once prior to going on the President’s Retreat, and on the President’s Retreat, he just remembered my name the whole time. He genuinely remembered things that I had told him and he just has amazing stories for every single situation that you can ask him. His amazing memories and stories are just the things that stand out to him the most.”

While people were eating, the Garvey’s dog Lola ran around the Pryz Lawn. People had the opportunity to pet Lola; however, emcees Christopher Carey and Kelsey Novack told people not to feed Lola because she was not feeling well. People also had the opportunity to hang out with CUA’s Mascot, “Red” the cardinal. 

Carey and Novack played a “Behind the Scenes” video of Garvey at his home in Nugent Hall talking about his job. The video featured him being interviewed by Monica Wallace, the Vice President of the Student Government Association, along with a paid visit by Zachary and Amanda Brotzman, who came to walk Lola. The video ended with multiple students thanking the Garveys for their work for the CUA community.

The Garvey-Q featured two speakers: SGA President emeritus Gerald Sharpe and the current SGA President Abby Anger. Sharpe talked about Garvey’s legacy during his twelve years as president and who the Garveys are as people. Anger spoke about how the Garveys were the first people to welcome all students to Catholic University during freshman year. 

“I think he is just really inspiring to the students in just the way he speaks and tells us about his life,” said freshman mechanical engineering major Michael Bellacicco. “He’s really given us a peek in his personal life, his faith, and his family life. I’m really hoping that President Kilpatrick does the same by bringing us into his family life. We all felt like we were President and Mrs. Garvey’s children, so I’m going to miss that about them.”

The Garveys left the Pryz at around 7:25 p.m. with everybody clapping, thanking the Garveys for all that they have done.

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