This semester, graduating seniors were invited to attend an “Etiquette Dinner” led by guest speaker Nonnie Cameron Owens. At the dinner, the students were guided through the intricacies of balancing eating with greeting and conversation. Miss Owens is a certified US and Asian Etiquette Consultant and author of Business & Dining with Civility: Manners Send a Message. Her book—as was true with her presentation to AMU students—is filled with helpful sayings, acronyms, and phrases that help and empower the reader to master what she calls the “art and language” of fine dining.
Miss Owens has come to Ave Maria University on multiple occasions to educate and instruct in the ways of civil dining and conversation. On the occasion of her most recent visit to AMU, she emerged from retirement—after over twenty-nine years instructing corporate and college audiences—to give one final presentation to our graduating seniors.
The event required an R.S.V.P., which acquainted students from the get-go with the etiquette surrounding the reception and answering of an invitation. On the evening of the dinner, over 50 students arrived at the Student Union Ballroom, dressed in the appropriate business casual attire. They were greeted and seated, and left to converse until all were assembled. Miss Owens began the night by having everyone stand and mingle, and then she walked them through a mock cocktail hour, demonstrating the art of handling a glass, plate and napkin while shaking hands and meeting other guests.