Griffins Think…Big

Scheffer stands on stage while speaking about love at Westminster Thinks Big on Friday, Sept. 25  in Jewett Center for the Performing Arts. Scheffer is working on her second masters in art and community leadership and applied to speak at this year’s event after attending last year. Photos by Chloie Dale  

Scheffer stands on stage while speaking about love at Westminster Thinks Big on Friday, Sept. 25  in Jewett Center for the Performing Arts. Scheffer is working on her second masters in art and community leadership and applied to speak at this year’s event after attending last year. Photos by Chloie Dale  

For one night, Westminster students, faculty and alumni mingled and thought big.

Westminster Thinks Big was held in Jewett Center for the Performing Arts and Emma Eccles Jones Conservatory on Friday, Sept. 25, as part of the 2015 reunion weekend.

While Westminster students are always thinking, this event gave Griffins the chance to share their life passions and big ideas.

Started in 2013 as a play on TED Talks and Harvard Thinks Big, the event is now held annually and donates all ticket profits to the Student Hardship Fund. This scholarship helps students with acute financial needs get necessary resources to attend Westminster.  

Event coordinators Ryan LaRae and Emma Metos have been working since April to make sure the event went smoothly. A main part of the process was choosing the speakers. With over 20 applications, LaRae and Metos were able to narrow it down to five key speakers.

“We wanted a wide range of topics that had a broad appeal,” LaRae said.

Attendees at Westminster Thinks Big mingle and munch on snacks in Jewett Center for the Performing Arts before the event started on Friday, Sept. 25. In its third year, the event allowed students, faculty and alumni to listen to short passionate stories given by five speakers. 

Attendees at Westminster Thinks Big mingle and munch on snacks in Jewett Center for the Performing Arts before the event started on Friday, Sept. 25. In its third year, the event allowed students, faculty and alumni to listen to short passionate stories given by five speakers. 

The speakers were made up of students, faculty and alumni who had a 10-minute slot to pour their passions out to the audience. Speeches included topics like politics, feminism and love.

Morgane Scheffer is currently working on her second master’s degree in art and community leadership at Westminster. As an attendee last year, she said she wanted to get involved and speak at this year’s event.

“I went last year and is was so fantastic to gather all of these bright minds at Westminster,” Scheffer said.

She shared her love for love with the audience and ended her speech with a hip-hop dance.

Gano Hasanbegovic, a sophomore double majoring in philosophy and psychology, came to the event to listen to some friends who were presenting. He said he left feeling inspired.

“Josie White’s presentation blew me away and brought me to tears,” Hasanbegovic said.

LaRae, one of the event coordinators, also described the event as inspiring and said they hoped attendees left feeling inspired, too.

“I wanted people to get a big idea that resonated with them and apply it to their life,” LaRae said.  

LaRae and Metos will host Westminster Thinks Big next year and welcome new speakers that have big ideas. If students are interested in becoming a speaker at next year’s event, contact Ryan LaRae at rfl0517@westminstercollege.edu for more information.