Friday, September 17, 2010

Alumna Linda Garrison donates $1200 Week stay at Suites at Steamboat Spring

Because she is an alum and because the Plain & Fancy Ball is one of the “major fundraising efforts for the College and Alumni Association,” Linda Garrison (’81, JRN) decided to donate a week stay at the Suites at Steamboat Springs. Metro State’s Office of Alumni Relations recently caught up with Garrison to ask her about where she is now and what she is up to.

MS: What is one of your favorite memories of your undergraduate days at Metro?
LG: For awhile I was a music major until I discovered that music theory was just not for me, so many of those memories have to do with music. For instance, singing in the Madrigals in costume; performing a Schubert mass at Immaculate Conception cathedral conducted by Vernon Moody and trying not to choke because I’d just taken a deep breath to sing and inhaled incense; discovering Brahms by singing his Liebeslieder Walzes; listening to Dr. Susan Cable blow everyone away with her performance of Chopin’s Barcarolle. As a journalism major, any class I had with Greg Pearson; and I have very fond memories of my children’s lit class with Ed Low.

MS: Where has your path taken you from graduation day until now (major milestones)?
LS: As a journalism major, I anticipated always working as a writer, which I did for years. I worked for several community newspapers and later edited some magazines. What I didn’t anticipate was my second career in media relations, or my third in fundraising. Nor did I anticipate that about a year after graduating from Metro, I would move to Southern California in order to get a job. I ended up having a great public relations career out there, won some awards and was accredited by my professional society. I also gave birth to two of my three children before coming back to Colorado in the late 1980s. Then, when my kids were small, I was able to freelance and eventually got into grant writing for nonprofits, which led me into my career as a fundraiser. Most recently, I was vice president of a consulting firm in Denver which specialized in assisting nonprofits throughout the West with major gift and capital campaigns.

MS: What brought you back to Metro State?
LG: My former boss decided to close the firm and go into semi-retirement, so the office closed in January 2010. I’d been looking for a job already, and heard about a position at Metro State’s development office that seemed to fit very well with my background and experience. I applied, and when I was offered the position, I was very excited. It feels as if I’ve gone full circle to come back to the place which really launched me professionally and gave me the opportunity to achieve a baccalaureate degree.

MS: Why did you donate to the Plain & Fancy Ball?
LG: I believe in giving back, and so it was natural to do something for Metro State, which has done so much for me.

MS: Why is this event important to the community?
For one thing, it’s not your usual old black tie gala. It’s fun, it’s lighthearted and most of all, it does a tremendous amount of good in terms of raising much-needed funds for scholarships and various programs throughout Metro State. Anything that benefits Metro State automatically benefits the community. A lot of people don’t know that Metro State educates more undergraduates than any other college or university in Colorado. That’s really significant, especially when you consider how many of these people enter the workforce as skilled professionals. Also, I know that even though Metro State is very affordable, for many of us, it was still a stretch to get the needed funds to pay tuition, books, fees and the likes. I had student loans, a Pell grant, worked work-study and two other jobs. My student loans took almost 10 years to pay off. How much better would it be for a student to graduate without that debt burden because of scholarships. Some people mistakenly think that a place like Metro State doesn’t need to raise private money, but consider that Colorado ranks 48 out of the 50 states in terms of financing education AND Metro State receives less funding than any other state college or university. So raising money is incredibly important.

Is there anything I’m not asking you that you want to share with me?
Any suggestions about what to wear to the Plain & Fancy Ball?

Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Post a Comment