Last Word: Collaboration Is Key

Author(s): Gail Larson
Photographs by: Provided
Gail Larson
Gail Larson

My interest in collaboration took root as an undergraduate in the College of Science. As a math education major in EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service), I was part of a team of students representing engineering, science, education and technology. We worked together pooling our diverse knowledge to design and build mobile technology carts for K-12 classrooms. It was that moment in my undergraduate experience that I realized the value of collaboration.

As an alumna, I volunteered with the College of Engineering as a design reviewer for current EPICS teams. I was impressed by their connections with community partners and experts on campus and found, just as when I was a student, that Purdue’s culture of collaboration continues and thrives.

At all levels, people working together make the University what it is today and move it forward — this is especially evident in the new Purdue Moves initiatives. Whether it’s STEM emphasis and education or affordability and access, Purdue administrators, faculty, students and alumni are working together to build an even stronger institution and reputation for a world-class education.

On a personal level, my husband, Troy (CoT ’00), and I enjoy helping Purdue grow by bringing our daughter, nieces and nephews to campus often. They enjoy sporting events, performances at Elliott, eating at the food courts, walking in the Center for Cancer Research 5K, and the Bug Bowl at Spring Fest. Purdue takes the “show on the road” so I encourage you to take the next generation of Boilermakers to an event. High on my list is Science Alumni Day at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, the Boilermaker Ball in Indianapolis, and hearing guest speakers at local Purdue Alumni Club events.

Want to take that encouragement to the next level? Consider being part of the Affordability and Accessibility Initiative and donate to scholarships so that future students can experience our amazing Purdue University. As a follow-up to the Annual Day of Giving on April 30, a first for Purdue University, now is a great time to “Boiler Up” on your support and keep the momentum building.

As an alumna volunteering as chairman of the Board of Directors for the Purdue Alumni Association, I marvel at the diversity in expertise and professional experience of our board members. Our volunteer board boasts scientists, lawyers, teachers, engineers, doctors, business owners, homemakers, accountants, veterinarians, pharmacists and more.

The Purdue Alumni Association’s mission is to serve as the gateway for the University to all graduates and friends. Our organization is collaboration at its best, serving to help alumni and friends of Purdue engage with the University and with one another. Whether one wants to connect with a school or college, network with fellow alumni, be in the know on Purdue events, serve as an alumni volunteer or connect in your local community, the Purdue Alumni Association delivers.

I’ve always enjoyed being a Boilermaker, but when I witness the spirit of collaboration and teamwork that results in a stronger Purdue University, it makes me especially proud to be Old Gold and Black!