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Two Saints & A Taco Tasting

Two Saints & A Taco Tasting crew

Tacos and beer would be a crowd-pleasing combination at any gathering. But the University of St. Thomas Alumni Association’s 2022 Two Saints & a Taco Tasting competition uses the mouthwatering delights as the launchpad for all kinds of fun at its popular annual scholarship fundraiser. This year’s merrymaking event takes place on the campus Academic Mall on Friday, October 14, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

In addition to the dynamic chair and co-chair Ahmed AlRawi ’12, MCTM ’20, and Emily Cotton ’12, two beloved Celt couples serve as honorary chairs: Catherine (Loth) ’12 and John Ruff ’12; and Gloria (Luna) ’03, MBA ’05 and Jesse Bounds ’05.

Both couples have remained involved with the UST community since graduating. They will help secure corporate sponsorships and promote the popular, adults-only event far and wide.

Their “Boy Meets Girl” Stories 

The couples’ connections to University of St. Thomas run deep, having made especially dear ties here.

“As athletes, we arrived on campus a month before school started,” John Ruff remembered. “At the time, soccer and volleyball were the only two programs on campus, and the teams spent a lot of time together. Catherine and I hit it off right away, especially since she had a regular supply of leftovers, and I was always hungry. We dated throughout our time at UST and got married at the Chapel of St. Basil a month after graduation.”

Jesse Bounds recalled how UST led him to Gloria. “We connected at a UST alumni fundraising event several years after graduating. We found so much in common: mutual friends, interests, worldviews, and of course, a shared affinity for the University. A couple of years later, we were married on campus at the beautiful Chapel of St. Basil.”

A New Season and Goal for Two saints & a Taco Tasting

Traditionally, the event has been a spring gathering. However, this year, the festivities are moving to October as a part of UST’s 75th Anniversary Year celebration.

AlRawi said, “We decided that October would be the best time to host our memorable get-together and carry the spirit of previous Two Saints & a Taco Tasting events while driving the momentum upwards to deliver maximum support for our student community.”

To that end, AlRawi and Cotton set a goal of netting $100,000. 

“The key to the success of Two Saints & a Taco Tasting is the amazing and tireless work that goes into the planning, which on average, takes eight months,” AlRawi explained. “Essential on our team are the sub-committee chairs for logistics and restaurants, Stephanie Canahuati ’17 and Nathalie Sessions ’93. And the University’s Alumni Relations group, led by its fabulous director, Amy Youngblood, is incredibly supportive.”

A Heart for the Mission

Addressing why they stay involved, Catherine Ruff explained her heart for the fundraiser’s mission. 

“This event has successfully bridged the gap between students and alumni while raising funds for a cause close to our hearts,” she said. “Since serving on the inaugural committee our senior year, it has remained a unique event, which further fuses UST with its eclectic home city.”

Gloria Bounds added, “We’ve attended every Two Saints & a Taco Tasting event in its 11-year history and participated as co-chairs once before, so we’ve learned a few lessons over the years, and we can’t wait to make this year even bigger and better! We invite you to help us raise crucial scholarship funds and lift a glass and eat a taco for UST.” 

Two Saints & a Taco Tasting is an annual invitation to foster your UST relationships and build lasting memories and lifelong friendships. At the same time, participants help provide an excellent education to deserving students.  


About the Author — Jamie Roark

Jamie RoarkJamie Roark is an experienced, Houston-based content creator & communications skills coach. Through her company, Simply Communicate USA, she especially enjoys helping Higher Education and healthcare organizations to tell stories that inform and influence.

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