Scholarship Changes Lives
Joe and Angie Fuller's scholarship will provide opportunities for students like Chris Ochynski (BSEE '13).
Ochynski credits the scholarships he received as an undergraduate with transforming his college education.
"Scholarships are truly life-changing awards," he says. "Because of the scholarships I received, I was able to invest in myself and Purdue by becoming involved in community service and extracurricular activities."
Ochynski founded Purdue Engineering Outreach (PEO), a service organization that uses creative projects to engage middle school students in engineering. In the year since its launch, membership has grown from five to 55 Purdue students who lead hands-on activities and engineering presentations at local middle schools.
This fall, Ochynski began his second year in the Krannert School of Management's MBA program as part of a dual degree program between Krannert and Engineering that allows students to earn a BS and an MBA in five years. He says the leadership skills he learned outside the classroom strengthened his application to the program. Without scholarships, he would not have had the freedom to explore these activities.
"Alumni who give back by donating their time or money or both after graduation show commitment to Purdue that I strive to emulate," he says. "My goal is to one day give back to students in the same way that was done to me."
"You don't have to be a retired millionaire to do something good. Every dollar helps and can make a difference in a student's life."
For Angie Fuller (BA '01, Communication), philanthropy is part of her job as the manager of institutional advancement at an Iowa hospital, but it's also more than that. Philanthropy has shaped how she and her husband, Joe (BSEE '01), see the world.
The Fullers have seen firsthand the difference a gift can make, and they aren't waiting until their retirement years to give back.
This year, they established the Joseph and Angela Fuller Scholarship through a deferred endowment to support two scholarships: one for students in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and another for students in the College of Liberal Arts.
The Fullers believe a Purdue education is the best preparation for a career and hope their endowment will create possibilities for more students to attend the University.
"I was fortunate enough to receive scholarship support which allowed me to attend Purdue in the first place," Joe says. "Purdue's curriculum challenges the students to become problem solvers, which is essential in the business world. I wanted to help give other students the opportunity to learn at this excellent institution."
During their time at Purdue, both Angie and Joe, now an electrical engineer at John Deere, worked to finance their college expenses. They appreciate that scholarships open doors to students for whom educational costs might be an obstacle.
"It makes us feel good knowing that when we're gone, we'll still be able to help someone fulfill the dream of getting an education," Angie says.
Angie and Joe have a vision for the impact of the Fuller Scholarship in the future. They plan to make annual contributions to continue to build the award in the years ahead beyond the initial endowment amount.
"Our ideal goal is to have a full-ride endowed scholarship, and we have a lot of years to make that happen," Angie says. "Over the next 40 years, we have the potential to do something substantial."
Only 12 years have passed since the Fullers left campus, but they have decided that the time is right to help other Purdue students continue their education.
"Our hope for other alumni: consider how your education impacts your life every day," Joe says. "Purdue gave us a start toward successful careers and it's really not that difficult to be generous and give back. Start leaving your legacy now and watch the good your gifts can do."
To support this scholarship, please make check payable to the Purdue Foundation and designate to the "Joseph and Angela Fuller Scholarship." Mail to the Purdue Foundation, 403 W. Wood St., West Lafayette, IN 47907-2007.