The Columns

Rapping with a Tap-Dancing Hoosier Meet Suzanne Gardner, assistant director of annual giving at W&L

— by on June 26th, 2017

Suzanne Gardner

What is your official job title?
Assistant Director of Annual Giving

How long have you worked at W&L?
I’ve been at W&L for a year and a half.

What do you like best about working at W&L?
I really enjoy the W&L community. I love being able to work for such a close-knit university. Being here, you truly are a part of the W&L family.

What advice do you have for students (or parents)?
Take advantage of all that W&L and Lexington have to offer. The programs at W&L are amazing, and the Lexington community has so many incredible organizations and opportunities. Four years flies by, so start making your impact now!

Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Bloomington, Indiana (go Hoosiers)! Many of my close friends and family are still in Indiana.

Tell us a little more about yourself.
I grew up in south-central Indiana surrounded by the things Indiana is best known for: flat land and corn. Just kidding, we also have a killer pork tenderloin sandwich at the state fair.

I’ve been a dancer my entire life and continue to tap dance during trips to New York City. I graduated from Indiana University and lived in Indianapolis and Chicago for several years working for a couple of national not-for-profit organizations before making the move to Lex to begin my work with W&L.

I have two siblings who are quite a bit older than me. The age gap between me and my oldest sibling is 21 years. Because of this, I have many nieces and nephews my age and I’m already a great aunt five times. I have a golden retriever that loves hiking, any body of water, squirrels and socks. In my spare time, you will probably find me out on a trail, socializing with friends, or volunteering in the community.

If you could live anywhere, where would you build your dream home?
I don’t know that I would actually settle down and build a dream home at this point in my life. I love the feeling of being able to travel and not having to deal with the upkeep of a house. Someday when I do build a dream home, it will have plenty of land and be near a body of water.

What most inspires you?
The generosity of others. We were all put on this planet to make a difference. I am always so inspired to see what people are doing to help others in their community.

What book are you reading now?
I am getting ready to begin “Grit” by Angela Duckworth.

What music are you listening to these days?
My favorite type of music is rap music. Something about rap just motivates me! Usually when I make the nine-hour drive home to Indiana, I listen to rap to help me power through the drive.

Gardner lets her hair down.

Your favorite film of all time?
It’s difficult to pick just one! I’m going to have to go with “Weekend at Bernie’s.”

A website and/or blog you visit often?
I love traveling, so I’m constantly looking up new destinations and travel ideas. I usually end up reading travel blogs quite a bit to plan my next trip and add to my bucket list.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Audrey Hepburn. Audrey was an incredible humanitarian who often put other people above herself. As she once said, “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

If you could have coffee with one person (living or deceased) who would it be and why?
I would have coffee with Betty White. I think she could give some excellent life advice on seeing the humor in everything and not taking things too seriously.

Tell us something most people don’t know about you?
I’ve been able to take part in many unique and amazing experiences in my life, including playing the accordion, childhood acting, and mascot training. I’m usually fairly entertaining and fluent in sarcasm.

If you would like to nominate a co-worker for a Colleague Connections profile, please email Kevin Remington at kremington@wlu.edu.