Purdue tradition provides AGEC student with a lifetime of memories  

Written by Kendell Combs, Junior, Agribusiness Management & Agricultural Communication

Annalee Witte (Junior; Sales and Marketing; Wilkinson, IN) served as a host during the 2018 Purdue's Old Masters Program. The Program, which dates back to 1950, brings back ten Purdue University alumni who have made a significant contribution to their field with the hopes that they will share their ideas and experiences with the student body. Each alumnus is paired with five current Purdue students who act as liasons or host/hostess for their Old Master. These students accompanying the Old Masters to various classroom talks, lunch engagements, and evening banquets.

Annalee’s Old Master for 2018 was Patricia Stroup (MBA Food Science and Agribusiness, Purdue University), currently the Chief Procurement Officer for Nestlé USA. As a host, Annalee’s main responsibilities were to prepare for the arrival of Ms. Stroup. Her group created a welcome box and took turns escorting Ms. Stroup around campus, introducing her at classroom talks, and reacquainting her with Purdue.

Annalee's biggest takeaway from the event was that no one’s career path is a straight line saying, "it’s okay to have many different experiences and try new things before you decide what you are going to really pursue" and she said her favorite part of the event was her ability to interact with Ms. Stoup. "Ms. Stroup had interesting stories and amazing advice," said Annalee. "We called the little things she told us ‘Pattyisms’. The ‘Pattyism’ that stood out the most was: 'Barring death and incarceration, nothing ruins your life. Things just change your life. Embrace the changes.'”

Annalee says that Old Masters is unique compared to similar experiences on campus because it is a tradition that unites past and present generations for the good of the future. “I think Old Masters shows present students what is possible for their future by bringing back past students to inspire them and show them Boilermaker greatness.” Annalee explained that Old Masters has given her some of her best Purdue memories and that she would encourage everyone to apply to be an Old Masters Host.

Next up for Annalee is a leadership role on the 2019 Central Committee for Old Masters. The central commitee is a select group of 12 Purdue students each tasked with planning a specific portion of the program. Annalee (pictured here with fellow committee member, Noah Scott) will be in charge of creating and overseeing the day schedules for each of the Old Masters. 

For more information regarding the Old Masters Program, you can visit this site: https://www.purdueoldmasters.org/. The 2019 Old Masters Program will take place November 3-5.

Two Agricultural Economics students, Jordan Michel (Sophomore; Sales and Marketing; North Manchester, IN) and Kathleen Jacobs (Senior; Applied Agricultural Economics; Huntington, IN) also participated in the 2018 program. Jordan served as an Old Master's host and Kathleen was on the program's central committee.

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