The September Lodge meeting is one of the best-attended of the year. The Culinary Masters outdid themselves with grilled salmon, wild rice, and vegetables, and 130 Scottish Rite Masons, guests, and scholarship students with the families enjoyed the dinner.
Patrick Watson, 32°, Venerable Master for the Lodge of Perfection began the evening by recognizing our fifty year members: Leroy C Daniels, 32°, George C. Eckert, 33°, Al M. Sesemann, Jr. 32°, John L. O’Loughlin, 32°, Edward E. Marshall, 32°, George E. Rouse, 32°, Bertrand N. Sherwin, 32°, Robert H King, 32° (who sadly passed away before he could accept the fifty-year pin), and Samuel A. Pfeifer, 32°.
Andrew Muska, 32° KCCH was called up to present a certificate to Lee Terry, 33° who made the most successful calls to retain members who were in arrears on their dues. The award also contained $200 “Maxell bucks,” which Lee could use any way he want for Scottish Rite events. Lee immediately presented them to the Foundation as a donation.
The focus of the evening is the UNO scholarship students. For nearly 30 years, the Scottish Rite Foundation of Omaha has provided $2,000 scholarships to tomorrow’s leaders, and Scottish Rite Masons have an opportunity to meet them and their families, as well as Dr. Sacha Kopp, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
Our speaker was UNO Senior Hannah Widger, majoring in Information Technology. She thanked the membership, telling us how her scholarship has freed her from the stress of paying for college to focus on her studies. She intends to use her education to develop applications to make technology more accessible for the speech and vision-impaired. Hannah concluded her remarks with a quote from Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho, who wrote “The ship is safest when it is port, but that is not what ships are built for.” “Thank you for helping me build my ship and sail,” Hannah told the members.
Dr. Kopp followed Hannah and recounted the story of a grandfather, holding up his citizenship papers, having studied for his exam on computer app designed by a UNO student like Hannah in partnership with a non-profit. “UNO is graduating students who are not only doing great things for themselves, but we hope we are graduating really great students who are doing great things for the community. It is because of you that this is happening.”