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Sunday, February 11, 2018 by Adam

Passion for Purdue

“There are a lot of ways to be part of the exciting things happening at Purdue," Marcus says. "As a fundraiser, I try to present opportunities for folks to be part of the next great thing and show them how they can get there.”

Each gift, no matter the size, is a vote of confidence in the University and a testament of loyalty to the Boilermaker family. Purdue employee donors are passionate about their support. But before they click to give through payroll deduction, there is a story.

Marcus and Jackie Knotts

Marcus and Jackie Knotts, University Development Office. (Photo provided) 

Each gift, no matter the size, is a vote of confidence in the University and a testament of loyalty to the Boilermaker family. Purdue employee donors are passionate about their support. But before they click to give through payroll deduction, there is a story. Purdue Today will highlight these stories in an ongoing series presented with the University Development Office. Today, read why Marcus and Jackie Knotts, both in the University Development Office, give.

Perhaps nothing is more ethereal than voices singing in complementary melodies so perfectly joined in rhythm, phrasing, nuance and tone that they blend seamlessly into a new melody.

And there is something richly romantic in how Marcus and Jackie Knotts have blended their individual melodies, and together do what they love: help others.

The two. both former Purdue Musical Organizations students, met during college at Purdue where he was in Purdue Varsity Glee Club and she in University Choir.

"I was in the corridor in Elliott Hall waiting to help with an audition, and he was waiting for his girlfriend," says Jackie (EDU'01). "We were just standing there, and there was this awkward silence that was killing me, so I just started talking -- just filling the air with words -- and couldn't stop talking. Afterward, I was embarrassed but was also relieved knowing I'd never see him again. "

The next week when she went for a job interview for a student researcher position in the University Development Office, she met the student who supervised all student researchers: Marcus Knotts. She recalls, "I was mortified and wanted to quit before I even started."

She didn't, and it's a good thing.

After some time working together as students, the two started dating and were eventually engaged sotto voce. "We had to come clean when I accepted a job as a full-time staff member," Marcus says. A year later, after Jackie graduated, they were married.

With a few career detours, each eventually came back to the University Development Office, where Marcus (LA'99,'01,'03) is assistant vice president of planned giving and Jackie is associate director of prospect management and tracking.

"There are a lot of ways to be part of the exciting things happening at Purdue," Marcus says. "As a fundraiser, I try to present opportunities for folks to be part of the next great thing and show them how they can get there."

Helping others is a natural extension of who Marcus and Jackie Knotts are, so working every day to see that others achieve their goals made them start thinking about their own philanthropic goals. "When it came time to review our annual benefits, we decided that in addition to our payroll deduction gifts, we would make a planned gift," Jackie says.

Marcus says, "There will come a time when we won't need what we have anymore. Once we have ensured financial security for our boys, the rest can be given to Purdue and the other organizations we care about."

"We work hard in our jobs to match the right people with their passion," Jackie says. "Our planned gifts reflect our passions for Purdue."

Their planned gifts will establish two endowments: The Marcus A. Knotts Endowment Fund, which will be unrestricted funding for the English Department in the College of Liberal Arts, and The Marjorie De Armond PMO Scholarship -- a scholarship for students in mixed ensembles -- named in memory of her late mother.

Writer: Karen Pulliam, 49-43872, kp@purdue.edu

 

* Faculty and staff who would like to share their own thoughts and stories about supporting Purdue should contact stewardship@prf.org or 49-43872.

http://www.purdue.edu/giving/passionforpurdue/index.html