Etiquette luncheon says proper manners lead to success


Giovann Rosales

Central campus attendees listen carefully to appropriate social graces.

Ladies should cross one leg in front of the other at the ankle. Gentlemen should open the car door for women.

That is proper etiquette according to the first Etiquette Luncheon presented at San Jacinto College Central Campus Nov. 14 hosted by the Office of Career and Employment, First Year Experience, and the Office of Student Life.

Student Life Coordinator Amanda Rose said Central wanted to host the event on its own campus because similar luncheons were successful at the other two San Jac campuses.

“Last semester,” Rose said, “the North and South campuses held an etiquette lunch, and it was so well-received that it was ‘Why wouldn’t we do it at Central?’ And so we are doing one this semester.”

Mary Lee Kennedy, founder and president of MannersPro, was the luncheon’s featured guest speaker and presented attendees with the rules of etiquette and guidelines for proper manners.

“Etiquette is strictly the glue that holds society together,” Kennedy said. “There is the character that goes behind the etiquette. It is essential. It is universal. The manners are the actual behaviors and will vary from region to region, so we’re going to provide those to you.”

Kennedy covered a wide range of topics including the proper way to shake hands, table manners, and becoming an expert at small talk. She said image and social skills are significant factors in determining the direction of a person’s life.

“The way you dress, the way you present yourself, the way you brand yourself, is essential,” Kennedy said.” The most important thing that you can put over yourself every day is a smile. That’s it. That is it…. Eighty five percent of success will be determined by your people skills… That is what is going to set you apart”

Participants said the luncheon was eye-opening, and they enjoyed Kennedy’s presentation.

Student Suzanne Mitcham said, “It was very knowledgeable, very informative. I didn’t know women shouldn’t chew gum in public.”

Attendance required a five dollar refundable deposit and professional dress. Antonio’s Italian Grill and Seafood catered the event that also featured prizes and handouts about etiquette.

Kennedy concluded the presentation with one of her favorite quotes.

“I have a quote from Harriet Tubman that I love,” she said. “‘Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.’”

“There is nobody in the entire world like you,” Kennedy said. “Find something you’re passionate about. Be positive. Be persistent. You want to be the person that when you walk into a room, you bring everybody up.”