Bringing the Community Together Through Webster
Special events create opportunities to bring people together for any number of reasons: to educate, to make new friends, to thank or show recognition to a person or group, to dedicate a new building or program, to make an announcement, to entertain and the list goes on.
The Office of Special Events is responsible for the planning and implementation of events for the Chancellor's Office and the Development Office. Events include groundbreaking, dedication naming ceremonies, receptions, lunches, conferences, donor and community relations events, Board of Trustee events, Commencement, Convocations and more.
The successful execution of these events and all events on the Webster University campus require careful planning and communication. We created this as a resource to assist you in planning your event. The site includes checklists, venue options, and links to useful forms and information.
Main Ceremony, 8:30 a.m. on Friday, May 13, 2022
Djibril Diallo, president and CEO of the African Renaissance and Diaspora Network (ARDN), will be the commencement speaker for Webster University’s 103rd Commencement.
Visit the Commencement page for more information on the undergraduate-only main ceremony and the times and locations of the college- and school-specific ceremonies.
Special Events Checklist
Before Finalizing Your Event Date
- Check the University Calendar for any competing events and to submit your event.
- Check the Religious Calendar for activity and dietary restrictions that may affect your attendees.
- Check the Repertory Theater Schedule of events to determine if there will be parking issues, depending on which venue you will be using.
- Make sure you have a parking location plan for your event.
- Notify Public Safety about your event.
- Define your audience and make sure your event and venue is accessible for all of your guests.
- Anticipate issues that may arise and create pre-planned solutions.
Event Date & Time Specifics
- Start Time
- End Time
- Contact Person
- Phone Number
- Number of expected attendees
- Account number for external costs
The reservation window should include set-up and break-down time. Below are some common venues and forms for renting them.
- University Center
- East Academic Building rental request (email) (Please include event title, event date, event start and end times, the room you wish to reserve, and any other pertinent event details)
- Emerson Library Conference Room
- Winifred Moore Auditorium rental request (pdf)
- Winifred Moore Auditorium rental agreement (pdf)
Include Campus Map & Location in Invite, If Needed
(Make arrangements along with the venue director or place Work Order with Facilities Operations.)
(Arrange for Sound or other AV support or Web Stream.)
- Contact IT Services and please be sure to include preferred method of contact for further discussion to clarify your needs.
The run-of-show is a chronological list of what is happening when and who is involved in each step, i.e. emcee, speakers, food service, entertainment, etc. The run-of-show is an important tool to use to communicate with everyone involved in the program the timing of each segment.
Special Events Planning Resources
The rooms within the University Center and the Winifred Moore Auditorium are the two venues that are available to outside organizations. Please check with each venue for guidelines regarding rentals and usage.
The University Center is not accepting External Rentals at this time due to COVID-19.
The University Center offers flexible and convenient spaces for various types of meetings and events. Prior to placing a reservation with the University Center, you are required to read the private groups or organizations rental contract listed below:
|Space||Corporate Rate||Non-Profit Rate||Current Webster Student, Faculty, Staff Rate|
|Sunnen Lounge||$100 per hour||$75 per hour||$50 per hour|
|Presentation Room||$50 per hour||$35 per hour||$25 per hour|
|Conference Room||$50 per hour||$35 per hour||$25 per hour|
|Commons||$75 per hour or $100 flat rate per day when paired with Sunnen||$55 per hour or $75 flat rate per day when paired with Sunnen||$37.50 per hour or $50 flat rate per day when paired with Sunnen|
|Grant Gym||$175 per hour||$130 per hour||$87.50 per hour|
|Athletics Lobby||$75 per hour or $100 flat rate per day when paired with Gym||$55 per hour or $75 flat rate per day when paired with Gym||$37.50 per hour or $50 flat rate per day when paired with Gym|
|Vendor Information Table||$115 per day||$90 per day||$57.50 per day|
- Capacity is based on room setups that do not include the use of tables.
- Any non-athletic events in the gym require the floor cover, which includes a fee of $75/use.
- Audio Visual equipment (laptop, data projector, microphone, etc.) is available. Contact the Information Center at 314-246-7105 for details.
You have three options by which you can determine if a room is available on your preferred date and time:
- We offer a virtual calendar by which you can check University Center room availability. You will not be able to submit a request on this site as that is limited to Webster University student organizations and campus departments, but you will be able to view the calendar for your preferred dates.
- You can call the University Center Information Desk at 314-246-7105 and speak with the Student Building Manager about available dates and times.
- You can email your full contact information and event details to firstname.lastname@example.org to determine available dates and times and to request a reservation.
Always ask guests for their dietary restrictions on invitations to any event where food will be served. Someone with dietary restrictions will convey that they are vegetarian or vegan and will expect you to provide a meal that meets his or her dietary needs.
Vegan: A plant based diet with no animal products. They do not eat meat, fish, eggs or dairy products.
Ovo-Vegetarian: Eat mostly plants in addition to eggs. They do not eat dairy products, meat or fish.
Lacto-Vegetarian: Eat mostly plants in addition to dairy products. They do not eat eggs, meat or fish.
Lacto-Ovo Vegetarians: Eat mostly plants in addition to dairy products and eggs. They do not eat meat or fish.
Pescetarians: Vegetarian diet but they also eat fish. They do not eat meat.
There are plenty of delicious meals that can be prepared for the above diet as well as modifications to popular meat dishes. Caterers are used to preparing meals to accommodate vegetarians and vegans.
Common Food Allergies
All packaged foods in the U.S. are required by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) to list all ingredients. Per the FDA, ingredients in foods must be listed by their common or usual name or have an allergen statement (i.e., CONTAINS: EGGS at the end of ingredient list). Also, be aware that many different products are manufactured and packaged in the same plant. These items should be listed as ‘May Contain.' Ultimately, it is the consumer's responsibility to avoid ingredients that contain allergens, allergen derivatives or have been exposed to the allergen.
A peanut allergy is very common and could cause a serious and possibly fatal reaction. If a guest has a peanut allergy you should avoid any kind of nut, even artificial. Also be mindful of dishes that may be cooked in peanut oil.
Some unexpected sources of peanuts:
- Egg rolls
- Hot sauce
- Salad dressing
- Specialty pizzas
- Some vegetarian food products advertised as meat substitutes
A milk allergy is different than lactose intolerance and is most common in infants and young children, although most will outgrow the allergy. Cow milk and products should be avoided, as reactions can be mild, such as hives, and sometimes life-threatening. It is also wise to avoid milk from all other animals.
Some unexpected sources of milk:
- Baked goods
- Luncheon meat, hot dogs, sausages
- Nondairy products (look for casein)
- Shellfish is sometimes dipped in milk to mask the odor
- Restaurants sometimes put butter on steaks for flavor
Egg allergies are the second most common childhood allergy and most children will outgrow it. Reactions can be mild, such as hives, and sometimes life-threatening. Eggs from other birds should also be avoided.
Some unexpected sources of eggs:
- Egg substitutes
- Pretzels are sometimes dipped in egg wash before they are salted
Not to be confused with gluten intolerance, wheat allergies can be mild or life-threatening. Many people with wheat allergies can tolerate other grains, but it's safe to stay away from them if you don't know for sure.
Some unexpected sources of wheat:
- Cracker meal
- Glucose syrup
- Soy sauce
- Processed meat
- Salad dressing
- Ice cream
- Potato chips
- Hot dogs
- Imitation crabmeat
Soy is another common infant and childhood allergy that is often outgrown. Soy allergies can be mild or severe, though severe reactions are rare.
Some unexpected sources of soy:
- Canned tuna and meat
- High-protein energy bars and snacks
- Low-fat peanut butter
- Processed meats
- Canned broths and soups
People with fish allergies are most commonly allergic to salmon, tuna and halibut, although it is advised to avoid all fish. Many people who are allergic to finned fish are not allergic to shellfish. Be advised that fish protein can become airborne in the steam released while cooking.
Some unexpected sources of fish:
- Caesar dressing
- Worcestershire sauce
- Imitation fish or shellfish
- Barbecue sauce
- Caponata (Sicilian eggplant relish)
Shrimp, crab and lobster cause most shellfish allergies and 60% of people with this allergy experienced their first reaction as an adult. There are two kinds of shellfish: crustacean (shrimp, crab and lobster) and mollusks (clams, mussels, oysters and scallops). Most shellfish reactions tend to be severe. It is also best to avoid all shellfish if there is an allergic reaction to any of them.
Shellfish to avoid:
Mollusks shellfish to avoid:
- Sea cucumber
- Sea urchin
For more information on food allergies, please visit:
Be mindful of guests at events during times when people of certain religions are restricted from eating some foods or foods that are forbidden by some religions.
Fast: March 2-20. Bahå'is abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset.
Forbidden: None. Many people will not eat meat or fish however.
Fast: Only for Buddhist monks.
Fast: Catholics will refrain from consuming meat on Fridays of Lent and on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Forbidden: Meat, fish, poultry and eggs. Some people also avoid garlic, onions, alcohol, tea and coffee.
Fast: Sundays, day of the new moon, the full moon, 10th and 11th of each month, the feast of Slvaratri, the 9th day of the month of Cheltra, the 8th day of Sravana, and days of eclipses, equinoxes, solstices, and conjunction of the planets.
Forbidden: Emulsifiers and stabilizers of animal origin, gelatin, non-kosher meat, birds of prey and non-kosher fish such as prawns, shellfish, turbot skate and sturgeon.
Fast: Yom Kippur and Tisha b'Av, during this time eating and drinking are forbidden for a 25-hour period. Partial fast days (no food or drink from sunrise to sunset) include Tzom Gedallah, Tenth of Tevet and Seventeenth of Tamuz, Ta'anit Ester and Ta'anit Bechorim.
Forbidden: Pork, lard or any pork substance, gelatin from animal source that is not halal, meat that is not slaughtered in the prescribed Islamic way, meat coming from a lawful animal which died before slaughter, blood, any food or drink with alcohol, all carnivorous animals and birds of prey and some non-halal additives.
Fast: Voluntary fasting is common on Mondays and Thursdays. Ramadan is a mandatory fasting period. Muslims are also encouraged to fast 6 days during the month of Shawwal, on the 10th day of Muharram, and the 9th day of Zul Hijjah.
You can also find information on religious food restrictions by visiting the Webster University Library, http://libguides.webster.edu/holidays.
It's important that you book speakers early and understand how they will be speaking or presenting as soon as possible so that you can coordinate their needs with media services and caterers.
The offices of Chancellor Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble and President Julian Z. Schuster attempt to accommodate as many speaking requests or meeting/event attendance requests as possible and appreciates your support of the University. However, some invitations may have to be declined due to scheduling conflicts. We appreciate your understanding and invite you to submit other requests for alternate dates.
Director of Special Events
Caitlin Forness serves as the Director of Special Events, leading a team, which coordinates University-wide and targeted outreach special events for the Office of the Chancellor and the Office of Advancement, including Board of Trustees events, donor relation events, groundbreakings, building dedications, guest speakers, convocation, and commencement.
Caitlin has over 10 years of experience in event planning and is an alumna of Webster University, having earned her Master in Business Administration from the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology in 2011. Prior to earning her MBA from Webster, Forness earned a BA in Humanities and Public Affairs from Missouri State University.
Kimberly (Kim) Wallner
Special Events Coordinator
Kimberly Wallner serves as the Special Events Coordinator, assisting with University-wide and targeted outreach special events for the Office of the Chancellor and the Office of Advancement, including Board of Trustees events, donor relation events, groundbreakings, building dedications, guest speakers, convocation, and commencement.
Kimberly has been working in the special event industry for more than 10 years, and has experience in venue management, catering and event design. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design and Studio Art at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.