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Alumnae share the Au Naturale experience with former classmates and new SNC friends.

Alumni News/Networking in a New Light

It’s a recipe for empowerment and fun: intriguing events plus inspiring women who share a common alma mater – St. Norbert College.

Knight Lights, the college’s new women’s network, launched in April with a colorful inaugural event at Au Naturale, a Green Bay-based makeup business run by Ashley Prange ’05. Prange leads a team of 22 employees in manufacturing, packaging and selling the high-end “clean beauty” brand, available in 176 locations this fall with global distribution.

Attendees from a wide range of ages and business backgrounds enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, sampled cosmetics and traded stories about their lives, including their college days. “You feel like you know people already because you share a common experience,” says Prange. “It’s more like you’re meeting a family member you already know and trust.”

The student-led organization Women in Business played an integral role in organizing the event, bridging the gap between students and alumnae. “Ashley let the students ask her questions, and their eyes were just huge,” says Knight Lights co-organizer Chris Betcher (Alumni & Parent Relations). She says this kick-off event went beautifully, with an energy and buzz that were palpable. “Our purpose is to bring our women alumnae together for empowerment, to lift each other up, and to showcase what some of our alumni are doing in a fun and intimate, engaging setting. We want it to feel like a girls’ night out, but we’re also learning and networking.”

Prange adds: “Communio is such a focus in the last 10 years at SNC. Taking that a step further, where you’re just focusing on women, I think it helps bolster us to more of an equal threshold. We can come together to network, find solutions and lean on each other, and that is made easier because of this like-mindedness that St. Norbert College brings together.”

Prange’s message to the women in attendance focused on taking opportunities and maximizing one’s network. When she needed to find talented employees to expand her business, SNC mentors helped her recruit Paige Peerenboom ’14. Peerenboom says she was glad to have an opportunity to show fellow alumnae the Au Naturale operations.

Organizers hope to hold a Knight Lights event twice each year.

“I’m thrilled I went!” says Sarah Paulson ’11, who expressed interest in hosting future events. “I work in finance, which is a male-dominated industry, so any time I can make a connection with other professional women, I’m all about it. To the powers that be: We need to keep this going!” 

June 30, 2018