Saint Martin’s Gala, with Legend Jacques Pépin, Raises $2.7 Million for Student Scholarships

Friends and alumni reunited to help Saint Martin’s University raise a record-breaking $2.7 million for student scholarships at the Saint Martin’s Gala, held on the University’s Lacey campus. This year’s Gala, in-person after a one-year hiatus, featured James Beard Award-winning chef and culinary legend Jacques Pépin and his daughter Claudine who joined via livestream from Pépin’s home kitchen in Connecticut to share some of his favorite cooking techniques and recipes.

President Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D. shared, “Not only does [the Gala] demonstrate our Benedictine values of community, hospitality and stewardship, but it also helps the University raise significant funds for student scholarships. It is thanks in part to our donors, sponsors and friends of the University that we are able to provide exceptional financial support to our students, some of whose families are needing even more support due to COVID.”

Saint Martin University Gala

Saint Martin University Gala

November 6th, 5pm-10pm

Marcus Pavilion

ShowCase Magazine is excited to sponsor the Saint Martin’ annual fundraiser for this year’s in-person event! The Gala is Saint Martin’s annual fundraising event in support of student scholarships. Gala Celebrity Chef Jacques Pépin and his daughter Claudine will join us for the evening virtually from his home via livestream (watch Jacques’ personal message here).The signature black-tie affair will include an exquisite five-course menu, exclusively crafted by Jacques Pépin, with live music and auction plus demos by Jacques.

Raise a Glass with Jacques Pépin

This fall, Saint Martin’s welcomes French cooking legend Jacques Pépin and his daughter, Claudine Pépin, to the Saint Martin’s Gala on November 6, 2021. The Frenchborn, American chef has inspired generations as a gifted author, culinary educator, television personality and artist. Since the late 1980s, he has appeared on American television and has written for the New York Times, Food & Wine and other publications and has authored over 30 cookbooks.

After moving to the United States in 1959, Pépin first worked at Le Pavillon, a historic French restaurant in New York City. Jacques Pépin has received 16 James Beard Foundation Awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award. For the past 30 years, Pépin has taught in the Culinary Arts Program at Boston University.

Most recently, he has launched a fresh series of short videos, Jacques Pépin Cooking At Home, featuring short recipe videos that transform readily available ingredients into exciting new dishes, perfect for newly anointed home cooks and seasoned chefs alike.

“With our videos, we are now teaching techniques and courses around the country. We want to inspire people with a love of cooking and to show how simple techniques can help kids and adults enjoy their time in the kitchen,” says Pépin.

After this past year of spending time at home, Pépin is very excited to cook and savor French-inspired cuisine with attendees at the Gala. “I’m looking forward to cooking and sharing my love for food while raising a glass of wine at the Saint Martin’s Gala,” says Pépin. To raise your own glass on behalf of Saint Martin’s, students can enjoy an evening learning the art of French cooking with legend Jacque Pépin.

For Additional Information and Tickets


Foundation for the Future Breakfast Fundraiser

Foundation for the Future Breakfast Fundraiser


May 13, 7am


Marcus Pavilion at Saint Martin’s University 


5300 Pacific Ave SE, Lacey


360.956.0755 |


Come support the Boy and Girls Club of Thurston County at this fundraiser!

Saint Martin’s 125th Anniversary Celebration

Saint Martin’s University commemorated its 125th anniversary with a virtual celebration raising over $1.4 million in critical scholarship funds for current and future Saints. The evening’s co-hosts were RC Smith and Kathleen Thomas MBA’14. The YouTube livestream featured videos of beloved SMU people such as Abbot Marion Nguyen, Abbot Neal Roth, Father Kilian Malvey and Mary Law as well as stories from students, faculty and alumni.

This year, many Saint Martin’s students were drastically impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and scholarships are more important than ever. All proceeds from the 125th Anniversary Celebration will be directed toward student scholarships.

More info:

Saint Martin’s University celebrates 125 years

Saint Martin’s University started 125 years ago when a group of Catholic Benedictine monks from Saint John’s Abbey in Minnesota came West to found a school. In 1895, the first student traveled 25 miles by canoe, Angus McDonald, from Shelton. Saint Martin’s was started as an all-boys high school and then transitioned to a college in 1938, and later Saint Martin’s University in 2005.

The University’s 125th anniversary will be celebrated with community events over 18 months starting with Saint Martin’s Alumni Homecoming festivities now through May 2021. Saint Martin’s has served as the gathering place for the community by hosting events, athletic games and cultural events for over a century.

“It is a milestone for any organization to reach their 125th anniversary and very important for all to celebrate this achievement,” said Saint Martin’s University President Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D. “ We see this 125th year as an opportunity to connect the Saint Martin’s family of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and abbey members with a renewed commitment to excellence. Personally, I find this achievement as an opportunity to re-energize the community around our distinctive mission of serving others.”

The University is now a vibrant campus with approximately 1,300 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students pursuing degrees. Saint Martin’s offers 29 majors and 11 graduate programs on its Lacey campus and its extended campus on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The campus has also continued expanding with the opening of a new $10.7 million science center in spring 2019 and another renovation of a $3.5 million nursing education center set to open fall 2020.

125th Celebration campus, 125th, archives, yearbooks, campus, old photos

“We are so proud that our Saint Martin’s alumni go on to be engaged business and community leaders in the South Sound region and beyond,” said Genevieve Chan, vice president of marketing and communications. 

The University’s mission statement is: “Saint Martin’s University is a Catholic Benedictine institution of higher education that empowers students to pursue a lifetime of learning and accomplishment in all arenas of human endeavor. Saint Martin’s students learn to make a positive difference in their lives and in the lives of others through the interaction of faith, reason, and service. The University honors both the sacredness of the individual and the significance of community in the ongoing journey of becoming.”

Celebrate this milestone anniversary with the Saint Martin’s community by visiting the website at and on the University’s official social media channels. By Nate Peters 

Dragon Boat Festival celebrates culture!

The dragons will be back in the water on Saturday, April 28, for one of the area’s most colorful spectacles, the Saint Martin’s Dragon Boat Festival. The event, now in its 13th year, will welcome 48 Northwest teams at Olympia’s Port Plaza for intense but friendly competition between dragon boat teams. The festival serves as a fundraiser for the Saint Martin’s Office of International Programs and Development, which welcomes students from around the world to the University and helps to foster cultural exchange and education.

Dragon boat races lead off the Saturday morning of a South Sound weekend filled with extraordinary entertainment. All festival activities are free and family-friendly. Other weekend highlights in downtown Olympia include Arts Walk, Procession of the Species, and the Olympia Farmer’s Market. Making it a springtime destination weekend, many stay overnight and enjoy the great activities available in Thurston County, including wine, beer and coffee tasting, paddle boarding and kayaking, shopping, and hiking in the famed Capitol State Forest.

More than 1,200 participants are expected to take part in the festival’s dragon boat races and nearby multicultural performances.

Dragon boats have been raced for some 2,000 years in China and East Asia. While the events origins are obscured by time, the most popular legend states that dragon boat races commemorate the fishermen who paddled their boats on the waters of China’s Miluo River in search of the body of exiled statesman-poet Qu Yuan, who drowned himself in despair over the human suffering and political corruption of his time. Today, dragon boat races are a way of celebrating community and culture.

The Dragon Boat Festival begins at 9 a.m. with welcoming remarks by Saint Martin’s University President Roy Heynderickx, Ph.D., and Honorary Festival Chair, Secretary of State Kim Wyman, followed by the “Dotting of the Eye” ceremony and a traditional blessing of the dragon boats. Races begin at 9:30 a.m., with competition between paddling teams drawn from Northwest schools and universities, government, community organizations and businesses. The final heats of the race will commence at 4 p.m., followed by a closing awards ceremony.

The Dragon Boat Festival has been a natural outgrowth of Saint Martin’s educational and cultural exchanges with China, which began in 1995. Each year, China is a popular destination for University faculty members teaching business, accounting and general education and for students participating in China study tours and internships in Shanghai and Hong Kong. This spring, 16 students from China are part of the University’s student body.

“The Dragon Boat Festival is not just a Saint Martin’s event, it is a community event! It’s a fun day filled with many family-friendly and cultural activities. I encourage everyone to come,” says Josephine Yung, one of the festival’s founders and the University’s vice president of international programs and development.

The Dragon Boat Festival welcomes the support from organizations throughout the region. Sponsors are the Port of Olympia, the Cities of Lacey, Olympia and Tumwater, Thurston County, Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation, Squaxin Island Tribe, Capital Mall, Capitol City Press, Olympia Federal Savings and Olympia Orthopedic Associates.

Opportunities to participate as a team or act as a festival volunteer are still available. For more information about Saint Martin’s Dragon Boat Festival, visit