Sitting in Braden Auditorium as a prospective student, Patrick Donovan, a 2013 graduate, remembers studying the color scheme. The graphic design major fixated on the décor.

His attention came back to Illinois State with discussion about themed living communities. The leadership and service floor was where he wanted to be, so much so that he went there after the presentation. The campus tour further convinced Donovan ISU was where he belonged.

Active in his high school student council, Donovan wanted to get involved at Illinois State. He chose the University Program Board (UPB) and was on the graphics committee as a freshman before chairing the group for two years. It was through that work that he received financial assistance.

“I received a scholarship for being so involved as a freshman,” he said. “It helped instill the values of the UPB and the University’s commitment to help students develop. I felt a real connection to Illinois State.”

Donovan used the funds to purchase a printer and upgrades as well as software for his personal computer, which is a crucial tool in his profession, especially now as a graduate doing freelance work. He also works at Starbucks with the goal of moving up to the corporate level where he can pursue his passion for design work and marketing.

Both were fueled at ISU. Donovan interned in University Marketing and Communications one semester before being hired as a student employee in the office.

“I loved going there every day and being able to apply what I learned in my classes,” Donovan said. “I was a part of marketing the University. How cool is that?!”