My passion for Purdue: Tiffany Baer

March 13, 2014  


Tiffany Baer

Tiffany Baer, director of annual giving in the University Development Office. (Photo provided)
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A proud alumna, Tiffany Baer (LA'92), director of annual giving in the University Development Office, holds fast to the deeply rooted Boilermaker traditions, including the tradition of giving.

Last year, those same roots drew her back to where it all began for her -- this time for work. "After graduation, I got married, moved away and started a family,” she says. "The first time I came back to campus, the Bell Tower had just been built, and as I read the plaque and saw the griffin, it brought back a flood of memories for me -- the many things that meant 'Purdue.' It felt like I was back home. I love Purdue and am so proud that I work here."

Although Baer's giving to Purdue began shortly after she graduated, it was a call from Purdue's Rally Line (formerly Telefund) that triggered her desire to give on a more regular basis.

"The reason I give is because of my passion for Purdue, and the programs and good things that happen here," she says. "But the reason I gave in the first place is because of my experience of receiving. I can't count the number of times people have given to me, just because they believed in me. Like so many other alumni, 'Hail Purdue' is so dear to me because we have so much to be grateful for. When we sing 'ever grateful,' we mean it!"

Every gift Baer makes comes with a story. "I give to Libraries because of my love of libraries and my master's degree is in library science," she says. "I give to Purdue Musical Organizations because I've always enjoyed the Glee Club and Purduettes. When I was in school here, there was one tradition I loved, Campus Serenade. At the end of Glee Club concerts, Glee Club members would go out into the audience and get down on one knee and sing to one lucky woman -- one time that woman was me. It was an unforgettable experience for a 19-year-old woman."

But there is one reason in particular to give back to Purdue that speaks to her louder than any other.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Baer's parents had four college-age children at the same time. For her, this meant she had to pay her own way. "Going to Purdue wouldn't have happened if I hadn't received scholarships," she says. "I have so many reasons to give because that opportunity was given to me."

Now she is returning the kindness by giving to the Student Affordability and Accessibility Fund. "At Purdue, we are working hard to make sure students have accessibility to a high-value education that they can afford. Giving to this fund is how I can give back for all that was given to me," she says.

"My story is transformed through giving. When I give to scholarships the story is no longer about me. I give because I want others to have the chance to experience the same opportunities, the same education, the same traditions I did. It feels good knowing there are students out there continuing the traditions because I helped in a small way."

* Faculty and staff who would like to share their own thoughts and stories about supporting Purdue should contact stewardship@purdue.edu or 49-43872.

Writer: Karen Pulliam, 49-43872, kp@purdue.edu

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