Antiques enthusiasts gather

SCENE & HEARD

Scene & Heard

March 04, 2007|By SLOANE BROWN

So, what makes the Hunt Valley Antiques Show Preview Party so young and fresh, even in its 37th year?

"We do!" said event co-chair Kathleen Jensen with a laugh. She may have been joking, but she may also have been right. She and co-chair Cara Shea Kohler headed up the 60-member committee that put together this annual fundraiser for Family and Children's Services of Central Maryland. With many of the organizers younger than 40 years old, the combo of young and old proved to be the ticket. It seemed as if every conference room at Timonium's Holiday Inn Select was stuffed with collectible treasures. Then there were the couple hundred people -- like Tim and Stuart Rodgers, Stiles Colwill, Molly Shattuck, Stuart and Suzanne Amos -- perusing the particulars with cocktail glasses and hors d'oeuvres in hand.

Meanwhile, the Middle River Concert Band serenaded folks in a cozy tent pitched next to the building, where folks could browse a different type of display: mounds of sushi, carved capon and tenderloin and a mashed potato bar with their choice of mashers and toppings, served up in martini glasses.

Erin Murphy, who co-chaired the soiree with Beth Darrel, offered her own party perspective.

"It's just good food, good booze, and good music," she said.

Joanna Trela, office manager for Neuberger, Quinn, Gielen, Rubin & Gibber, described the appeal of the antiques, saying, "I collect early American silver. There's a history behind it."

"There's a history behind every piece," added her husband, Eric Trela, president of Trela Computer Corp.

"It's neat to have people around you who are so passionate about antiques," said Laura Siler, key account coordinator for Under Armour.

A Drink With Mary Pat Seurkamp

A college president and a Baltimorean in training

President's Day was spent this year with a president celebrating her 10th year as president of the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. Mary Pat Seurkamp, Ph.D., came to Baltimore for the job in 1997, after 21 years at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y. Seurkamp lives in Roland Park with her husband, Bob Seurkamp, executive director of the Governor's Workforce Investment Board, and their "mutant boxer," Samantha. The Seurkamps have three adult children and one grandchild.

You've been in Baltimore 10 years. Do you now consider yourself a Baltimorean?

We truly love Baltimore so much that we've decided to retire here. We've bought a home on Sue Creek that my husband is finishing. Am I a Baltimorean? As much as I'd like to claim that, I'm told you have to be here a whole lot more than 10 years.

This town has some big names in higher education. Is it tough being with one of the smaller ones?

Little, but mighty. With great name recognition, you have some advantages. But, the beauty of higher education in this country is its diversity, and Notre Dame serves a very important and distinctive niche.

So, when people find out what you do for a living, what are some of the questions you get?

We get a lot of compliments. And then they ask me, how long can we remain a women's college? And the answer is: forever.

How much time does a college president have to spend at work?

A lot. I often say these are the greatest jobs. They're also some of the most demanding. So, with commitments to students, donors and friends, I'm often on call seven days a week. My husband would say I always am.

Is it tough for him?

I think it's had its challenging moments. But, he's really been a terrific support.

How do you balance your personal and professional life?

I think I'm not that good at balancing it. So, what we do is try to carve out some concentrated time when we can get away. Staying in town doesn't work.

Where do you like to go?

Our favorite spot is St. John in the Virgin Islands.

And your perfect vacation day would be...

Sleep in a little bit. Then head out to a perfectly exquisite beach. Get some sun. Do some snorkeling. At the end of the day, be back at where we're staying --with a cocktail, watching the sunset.

How do you spend what little leisure time you have at home?

If there's a good movie in town, we'll go. Or we'll rent a movie. I love drama. My husband would always opt for action or comedy. The most recent movie we've seen was The Queen. It was phenomenal.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

That I started as a theater major in college.

What happened?

I think reality set in. So, a more realistic major was psychology.

Do you have a favorite book?

I don't get to read as much as I'd like to. I love fiction. I'm one of those adults who, along with my grandchild, read the Harry Potter books. One of the best books I've read recently is The Kite Runner. It's a great story and great examination of cultures.

What makes you laugh?

Being able to poke fun at ourselves. Laughing about the things we take ourselves too seriously about.

Do you have a life credo?

This is going to sound hokey. [But] I do live by it. It's important to be genuine and not to exaggerate who you are and what you're able to do.

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