My name is Elizabeth Karper, and I’m a proud alum of Shippensburg University and the Wood Honors College. I graduated in 2017 with degrees in Marketing and Supply Chain Management. Currently I work as an IT Specialist in the Naval Supply Systems Command for the US Navy. I’m a member of the material management team, and I focus on supporting procurement for the Navy.
It’s hard to believe that just three years ago I was speaking to you all at this exact same event as a senior in college. I love this university so much I just can’t stay away for too long! But in all seriousness, I do care immensely for this university, its students, its faculty and staff, and its alumni and I was inspired by you all, so I decided to start paying it forward at a young age. I am a founding member of the Wood Honors College Advisory Council and have served since the fall of 2017. I hope to one day establish a scholarship for undergraduates as well as continue serving on university boards and councils.
I can say with 100% certainty that I am where I’m at in my life and career thanks in huge part to my benefactors in college. I received numerous scholarships and worked hard and became involved in college to ensure that I stayed eligible to receive those scholarships. Through studying very hard and applying myself in the classroom, at my internship at Volvo Construction Equipment, and at my job as alumni coordinator the Honors College, I ensured I was ready to take on the real world. That is why I believe I was able to graduate with a job offer and begin full time employment right away. My experiences in college gave me unique talking points during interviews and showed that I had developed both professionally and personally.
I decided to pay it forward because having recently graduated, I know how challenging completing an undergraduate degree can be. Tack on a job, or two, plus an internship and involvement in clubs or Greek life, and it’s a very busy and at times stressful, four year experience. And of course, you’re probably supposed to check in with mom or dad every now and then, and maybe even have some fun too! So I decided to give back what I can, to help alleviate some of the financial burden for students. For lots of students receiving a scholarship means they can take a few less hours at their job and focus on studying for that final. Or, it could mean funding an experiential learning opportunity that otherwise they wouldn’t be able to afford.
I was once that student. I attended national conferences and participated in an experiential learning opportunity in the Dominican Republic thanks to your support. Without your generosity, I wouldn’t have had these experiences to shape me into who I am today, or talk about in my interview for what became my first full time job. I am certain that my experiential learning opportunity in the Dominican Republic is what put me over the bar over other candidates for that job. As an alum I made the decision to pay it forward, just as you all did for me, because I know how the support can be life-changing.
I also know numerous other young alumni who are already giving their time, talent, and treasure to the university and its current students. You all impacted us so much as undergraduates that we were inspired to continue the circle, and continue to give back. We’re hoping that this cycle continues for years to come. Your charitable gifts aren’t just supporting the students who directly receive the scholarships. Your gifts are a link in a chain of continuous giving. Generation after generation of support, inspired by those who came before them. So thank you all for your continuous generosity and support to this university and its students. Together, we are shaping the future.