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Katy Winters: Grateful grad hopes to follow donors’ example

Effervescent, Katy Winters is a fourth-generation Boilermaker from Mishawaka, Ind. For her, the decision to attend Purdue was an easy one even if paying for it was going to be a challenge.

Katy Winters

A 2014 graduate in communications, Winters received multiple scholarships that helped ease the burden for her and her parents. “If it wasn’t for scholarships, I wouldn’t have been able to attend Purdue,” she says.

Even at an early age, Winters’ parents encouraged her to study diligently. Not just because winning scholarships would almost guarantee her ability to attend college, but because they believe in hard work and being proud of what you do.

And she did work hard.

Although she held several different jobs while in school, her present job as an intern in the University Development Office at Purdue is where her heart is. “I worked in Purdue Athletic Communications, Galleries, and at the NCAA in media coordination,” says Winters. “But I love the job I’m doing now.”

One of her responsibilities is to collect thank you letters that current scholarship recipients have written to their donors – just like the ones she wrote as a student. “I personally know how much scholarships helped me,” she says, “but now I’m seeing just how broad an impact private giving has on the lives of students.”

Winters recalls the first time she realized there were actual donors behind scholarships: “At first, I thought it was just a fund the university had from which scholarships were awarded. Then I was asked to write one of the letters like the ones I’m working with now, and realized there are donors who give to that scholarship.

“I felt I owed it to not only myself but the donors to do my very best,” she says. “My hope is to have a full-time job soon, and I can start paying it forward so that other students can have the same opportunities that I had.”

Writer: Karen Pulliam, assistant director for stewardship communications in the University Development Office. 49-43872, kjpulliam@prf.org