September 27, 2021

LACEY, Wash. – Saint Martin’s University is announcing updates to the 2021 Saint Martin’s Gala. The Saint Martin's Gala, the University’s major fundraising event for student scholarships, is still scheduled to be held in-person in the Marcus Pavilion on Saint Martin’s main campus in Lacey on Saturday, November 6. The signature black-tie affair will include an exquisite five-course menu, exclusively crafted by James Beard Award-winning chef Jacques Pépin, with live music and auction. 

In response to the current COVID-19 climate, the following updates to the event program and guidelines are as follows:

  • Gala guest chefs will be participating via livestream. Jacques Pépin and his daughter Claudine will join the Gala live from his kitchen via livestream for this event. Watch Jacques' personal message here.
  • Required vaccination or exemption status reporting. Following current Thurston County guidelines and university requirements, all Gala guests, staff, vendors and volunteers must report prior to event whether they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If partially vaccinated or not vaccinated, individuals can still attend but must submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test 48 hours before the event. Rapid tests will not be provided night of the event. Vaccination status reports should be submitted, using this link, by Monday, November 1. Proof of negative COVID-19 tests for partially vaccinated or non-vaccinated attendees must be submitted on November 4.
  • Required masking during event. Also following current Thurston County guidelines, and university requirements all Gala guests, staff, vendors and volunteers must wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, when not eating or drinking.
  • Online auction. This year, in lieu of an in-person silent auction, there will be an online auction, starting Monday, November 1 and closing on Saturday, November 6 at 12 p.m. The online auction will be open to both Gala attendees and non-Gala attendees to allow as many people to participate and support student scholarships. More information to come on the Gala website.
  • Updated reception and dinner start times. Reception starts at 5 p.m. with the dinner and live event beginning at 6 p.m.

The Saint Martin’s Gala is currently sold-out. To be placed on the waitlist, submit a vaccination or exemption status report, or inquire details about the above event changes, please contact or visit

“After not being able to gather for almost two years, we are excited to welcome our friends and supporters back to campus for this year’s Gala. We are taking the needed precautions to make sure we can celebrate together safely,” shares Saint Martin’s Vice President of Institutional Advancement Cecelia Loveless. “In these uncertain times, I want to say thank you for the generosity of our donors throughout the years who have assisted thousands of our students with scholarship support. This fall we welcomed our largest first-year class in Saint Martin’s history and our students need our support more than ever.”

The last Saint Martin’s Gala, held in 2019, raised $1.4 million for scholarships. Over the years, the black-tie affair has grown to be the premier culinary event in the South Sound region, featuring a live auction, a five-course gourmet dinner and on-stage cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs. Previous featured chefs have included Carla Hall, Roy Yamaguchi, Ming Tsai, Andrew Zimmern, Lidia Bastianich and Michael Symon.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent coeducational university, with undergraduate and graduate offerings, located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 13 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 29 majors, 11 master’s programs, one doctorate program, and seven certificate programs spanning the arts and sciences, business, counseling, education, engineering, nursing, and leadership. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,300 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and more students to its extended campus located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Cecelia Loveless
Vice President, Institutional Advancement

Genevieve Chan
Vice President, Marketing and Communications