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Garet Turner

2008 Graduate
Major: Political Science

Garet Turner

I chose Political Science as a major in my junior year of high school with the intent of becoming a lawyer. Before I left high school, I realized law was not for me and it begged the question what do I do to still help people. I was determined to find a way through the study of the political process and to better understand politics and its ability, or inability, to solve problems in the world.

Fast forward to college, I stick with Political Science and become heavily involved in student organizations in my first year, becoming a leader of many of those organizations in my second or third year. In the summer between my freshman and sophomore years, I attended Georgetown University and was part of a program that focused on the non-profit sector and its role in filling gaps in society and serving the underserved populations of people. I found my passion early in my college career and stuck with it.

Back at Purdue, I used those leadership experiences as a student to gain connections to those in the non-profit space and to do some good myself alongside my classmates. I was involved with DRIVEN (Diversity and Retention Initiatives through Volunteering, Education and Networking) in the College of Liberal Arts, with PAASA later becoming PASE and several other organizations. What mattered about each of these was the opportunity to go out into the community and learn. Learning through experiencing was what allowed me space to be creative and find solutions to problems that traditional academic models do not always offer.

I later met the Senior Vice President of Advancement and began interning with the University Development Office. I found a passion for events and fundraising. Today, I am the Chief Development Officer of an international organization focused on raising funds for a political action committee, but separately for a foundation and for our policy (lobbying) efforts. I couldn’t be here without the experiences of Purdue. I wouldn’t have found my interests without the opportunities I was afforded during my time at the university and I certainly wouldn’t have made the connections or developed the drive if it weren’t for my time at Purdue University.

What I miss most is the ability to see college friends on a regular basis, but the good news is that I speak nearly daily to those that I was closest to during that time. I may not always get a chance to come back to campus, but Purdue will always be a special part of me.