Each gift, no matter the size, is a vote of confidence in the University and a testament of loyalty to the Boilermaker family. Purdue employee donors are passionate about their support. But before they click to give through payroll deduction, there is a story.
Mary Seyfried, director of donor services in the University Development Office. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons)
Mary Seyfried, director of donor services in the University Development Office, has a passion for helping others and for making sure underserved children in the Lafayette School Corporation attend Convocations productions at Purdue.
"I give because I recognize that in addition to mathematics, writing and reading, a well-rounded child needs to experience the arts," she says.
Seyfried recalls this hitting home when her daughter was in grade school and her class went on field trips to performances sponsored by Purdue Convocations. "There were always students left behind because their parents couldn’t afford the ticket for them to go," Seyfried says.
As one of the first "Friends of Convocations," Seyfried also served as a Convocations board member for two terms. It was early in her involvement that she realized the significant need to help area schools subsidize their arts programs amid budget cuts. Since its creation in 2004, All Aboard for the Arts, Seyfried’s first established endowment, has helped more than 1,300 underserved Lafayette School Corporation students attend Convocations productions.
The arts have always been part of her life. Seyfried has childhood memories of attending performances with her mother: "Mom took me when I was growing up and I took my daughter, and my parents as they aged and couldn’t drive themselves. It is my mission to make sure the underserved in our community are able to have those experiences as a part of their lives, too."
In 2009, Seyfried created another endowment for the underserved seniors in the community: The Community Access to the Arts Endowment has paid for tickets for more than 80 senior citizens to attend performances. Still another endowment is in the works -- one to help underserved families attend performances together.