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Young alumni couple establish study abroad scholarship

Joel and Kara Hartman

Two 2007 Purdue University graduates are helping provide students in agriculture with a world-class educational opportunity.

In their first major donation to Purdue, President’s Council members Joel Hartman, ’07 BA in Liberal Arts, and Kara Hartman, ’07 BS in Agricultural Economics, pledged $25,000 to create a scholarship bearing their names to help support students in agriculture study abroad programs.

The Lafayette, Indiana, couple established the scholarship as an outgrowth of their upbringings, educations and experiences. Both Hartman’s completed their education with the help of scholarships. Joel was a Twenty-First Century Scholar from middle school through graduation. That program provides income-eligible students with four years of tuition. Kara received a Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship.

And it was Kara’s semester in Ireland – as well as her current position as an International Academic Program Specialist – that prompted the couple to help agriculture students add a global experience to their educations.

The couple also served on the Purdue Foundation Student Board – another experience that stirred their interest in giving.

The Indiana natives both grew up in strong Boilermaker families. Today, Joel represents the College of Agriculture as a director of development and Kara, as stated, is an international academic program specialist for the International Programs in Agriculture office at Purdue. They are preparing to welcome a little Boilermaker into the family in early June.

Just two years after their graduation, the couple started giving back. “We love Purdue,” Joel says modestly. “We were blessed, and we want to be a blessing in return.” Working within the University and College of Agriculture, they have seen the increased need for scholarships and the personal reward students gain from these experiences. 

You don’t need to make a huge gift to make an impact on a student's life.  Find your reason to give and know it is making a difference.

Editor’s note:  The Hartman's story also appeared in the Spring 2010 issue of Leadership magazine and was written by Grant Flora.