The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


Spaghetti, Meatballs, and Sarah Grey: How one alumna made the world a smaller place

What is a Spaghetti and Meatball dinner besides relatively easy to make and filling? A tool that can bring communities together, apparently.

In a world where relationships are all too easily reduced to the likes of text messages and Facebook statuses, what started as a simple birthday celebration has become an international movement connecting friends and strangers. The concept and practice of Friday Night Meatballs started by one of Chatham’s very own, Sarah Grey, is relatively simple: Spread the word using your preferred method of communication, accept the first ten people who respond, cook up a pot of spaghetti and meatballs (or not depending on your preference), and fun ensues.

Philosophy and Cultural Studies major, Class of 2002 graduate, freelance writer and editor, mother, and owner of Grey Editing, Sarah Grey explained her process.

“On Wednesday night, I put out a status on Facebook and the first 10 people to say yes get to join us,” she said describing a typical Friday Night. “We make spaghetti and meatballs, they bring bread and wine, kids take over in the living room, and we light some candles and try really hard not to sweat the housework.”

Due to her writing and international network that stems in part from her work in translating, Grey’s at first intimate gatherings have spread to other countries such as the Ukraine and Canada.

“My network is already pretty international, but I’ve heard from countries where I have no connections at all,” she said.

Grey is even currently proposing a book of stories about the people from all over who have come together because of Friday Night Meatballs. In regards to coming together, many a personal and professional relationship has come from these gatherings. Although, according to Grey, there has not been a Friday Night Meatballs wedding yet, a lot of individuals who probably would not have otherwise interacted have met.

Although now stationed in Philadelphia and busy with business ownership, Sarah Grey has not forgotten her days as a Chatham Cougar, she even notes jokingly that her husband is an honorary Chatham man. The only self-proclaimed feminist at her then high school, after taking a women studies class, she fell in love with Chatham and does not regret her time there. Recalling all-female productions of plays and the standout Toni Morrison, Grey has many a fond memory; and like a true Chatham woman, she has plenty of thoughts on where Chatham University is headed. When asked what she thinks of the University’s decision to go co-ed, Sarah Grey had a lot to say.

“I’m just really disappointed because what really made Chatham stand out was that it’s a women’s college,” she said. “I’ve found that I can really spot a Women’s College graduate from a mile away. They carry themselves with a confidence and a style that you don’t see that much.” Speaking of that confidence that Grey herself felt she gained from her time at Chatham, she expressed concern and sympathy for a generation of young women who may not be able to gain it for themselves. When asked what she would say to her eighteen-year-old self, she responded that she would tell herself have confidence and not credit cards.

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