Campus ministry director leads button-making in Commons

Andrea Essner set up a button-making station to celebrate loved ones passed away.


Director of campus ministry and service Amanda Essner displays her button featuring her “Grandpa Prep”. photo by Faith Andrews-O’Neal

by Faith Andrews-O'Neal, Writer

Director of ministry and service Andrea Essner, had a station set up in the Commons to create buttons featuring deceased loved ones.

The idea was inspired by the movie St. Vincent, in which a boy befriends his elderly neighbor, and writes his essay on sainthood over Mr. Vincent. Essner wanted to commemorate that same sentiment.

“We encounter everyday saints in our lives, and we lose these people when they pass away,” Essner said. “I thought a great way to remember all of those who have inspired us and helped us would be to wear them with us on Wednesday.”  

On her shirt, Essner wore her maternal grandfather, whom she called “Grandpa Prep”.

“{He was} a very, very kind man, and a super-straight shooter,” Essner said. “He would always tell you exactly what he was thinking.”

Essner believes we should focus on the humanity of sainthood, instead of constantly striving for perfection.

“I think God calls us to be who we are, with grace, humility, and virtue,” Essner said. “I see that a lot in my grandpa. He wasn’t a perfect guy… but he was so compassionate. He will always be a saint in my eyes.”

There will be more opportunities for students to make their own buttons Monday and Tuesday in the commons during activity, and in Essner’s office (M210) during free periods.