Myles Munroe is quoted as saying, “The value of life is not in its duration, but in its donation. You are not important because of how long you live, you are important because of how effective you live.” This sentiment could not be more fitting for an event such as the Dean’s Club Dinner, an annual event focused on thanking those who give to the Purdue College of Agriculture.
Thinking back to when I was growing up, I distinctly remember the Purdue paraphernalia that covered our house that ensured anyone who entered had no question as to the university my dad attended. Somewhere between constantly seeing the Boilermaker logo and attending the Purdue sporting events, I determined that Purdue was my dream. Some day I would wear that black and gold and yell “Boiler Up” just like my dad. Through high school, that dream fueled my efforts in classes and extracurricular activities. Finally, the day came that I got to open the email that read “CONGRATULATIONS- You are a Boilermaker!”. I remember jumping around my house and calling every person I could think of to share my excitement with. However, that excitement would not have been possible without those who give to Purdue.
Whether it come in the form of a donation towards scholarships or in donations towards renovations to buildings, every single dollar matters. While there may have only been 230 individuals at the dinner, there are so many others that give to Purdue Agriculture that make learning for so many students, myself included, possible. I had the privilege of eating dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Don Villwock and amongst our conversations of the holidays, crazy schedules, and our families we talked about why giving is so important. I was in awe of the mindset of these two influential individuals. To them, giving to Purdue seemed only natural. Why would they not give to an institution that not only meant so much to them, but also helps prepare the world’s future agricultural leaders? This was made even more meaningful to me, because I was fortunate enough to receive the Donald and Joyce Villwock Scholarship. Because of their generous donations, I am able to pursue my goals and educational pursuits.
While Purdue donors never cease to amaze me by their donations, it impresses me even more by how involved they want to be. The donors keep very close attention to the happenings at Purdue as well as generate ideas on how to make things even better. They also care about the students. I had so many donors ask me how I was enjoying my time at Purdue and what I hoped to accomplish in the upcoming years. I saw multiple faces of donors light up when they heard from Cameron Mann who discussed her experience serving as the Student Trustee and Mark Aronson who shared his journey of majoring in Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Students like these are why they continue to give, and we could not be any more appreciative.
A point that Miss Mann highlighted in her remarks was the “Ever Grateful, Ever True” wording within the Purdue fight song. While I am grateful for many opportunities and people that Purdue has led me to, one of the most important aspects I am grateful for is the donors who make it all possible. The Dean’s Club Dinner allowed myself, and other students to say thank you to those donors. The individuals in attendance certainly exhibit Munroe’s quote by living an effective life. Because of people like this, I am ever grateful, ever true, and proud to call myself the Boilermaker I dreamed of being growing up.