The Cheerful Giver

Portrait of Joy Matson

Joy Matson lives to give, and she loves all things Purdue. A mortgage specialist, Joy began her career in real estate in 1983 shortly after she arrived in Greater Lafayette, Indiana. Since then, this transplanted University of Illinois science graduate has become an extraordinary advocate and an Ever True Boilermaker ambassador.

She has been a generous supporter of the Purdue University Libraries, the Active Learning Center, Veterinary Medicine and PCCR, as well as many local community nonprofits. She finds her inspiration for generosity through her faith, and a favorite passage from 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 often referred to as The Cheerful Giver. Joy believes this has directed her to give as she has decided in her heart “not reluctantly or under compulsion.”

“I want people to give, and to know that each person has a chance to make a difference for the better in their generation,” she says.

With an abiding love for her adopted community and Purdue, this cheerful giver hopes to inspire others to do the same. When a unique real estate opportunity came about, Joy found a creative way to make a significant gift to Purdue.

In August 2014, Joy purchased a house situated in an upscale West Lafayette neighborhood in an elite school district as part of an estate sale and set to work renovating and restoring the house. She had her work cut out for her — the house had become a hoarder’s hovel. It took four men eight days to clear out the house and clean up decades of clutter. After the house was emptied of its clutter, Joy began transforming the house.

On a rainy Monday in May 2015, Joy held an open house to reveal the renovated and restored house. Invitations announced that all net proceeds from the sale of the home would go to Purdue Center for Cancer Research.

Proceeds from the sale generated a significant five-figure donation that is now empowering innovative Canine Cancer Research in the College of Veterinary Medicine and PCCR Director Timothy Ratliff’s Tim’s Twigs” initiative, which provides funds for researchers’ new projects and resources.

“Everyone has been touched by cancer,” Joy says. “This project was a way to raise awareness of the cancer research happening in the community and generate more support for the center’s work.”