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Whitney Wood

Purdue Day of Giving inspires staff member to give back

Each Purdue Day of Giving, Whitney Wood proudly supports Purdue Dining and Culinary, which she faithfully serves as a process assistant. For the past seven years, Wood has made a personal donation and this spring raised an additional $500 in challenge funds for her department.

“What I like most about working at Purdue is that any role you play is a contribution to something greater,” Wood says. “I want to make sure I support my department whenever I can. This is why every year I participate in every social media challenge possible. I have a lot of fun with it and have been successful raising enough bonus funds in the past to fully endow some of our student awards.”

Through her work, Wood sees firsthand the impact Purdue’s students make—something that inspires her to regularly nominate deserving undergraduates for such honors as the ABCD (Above and Beyond the Call of Duty) Award.

This year’s Purdue Day of Giving, held April 28, was particularly significant for Wood and her colleagues as it was the first without Amanda Adams, who had served as their department’s manager for training and development. “Amanda passed away suddenly this year, which created a void we all felt,” Wood says. “She was Purdue Dining and Culinary’s biggest cheerleader. She made sure the staff was always learning and felt appreciated, and she encouraged our participation in Purdue Day of Giving.”

Wood gave her 2021 gift in memory of Adams. “Amanda was one of the reasons I made the leap toward advancing my career within Purdue Dining, so I wanted to make her proud on Purdue Day of Giving.”

—Matt Schnepf

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Purdue for Life Foundation

Patsy J. Mellott

BS College of Health and Human Sciences, 1969
Fishers, IN

Patsy earned a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition in business from Purdue in 1969, in addition to an MBA in food marketing from Michigan State University in 1970. She retired from Kraft Foods in 2006 after 36 years in corporate food marketing and marketing communications management.

A community volunteer, Patsy serves on the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana Advisory Board and the Purdue College of Health and Human Sciences Dean’s Leadership Council, in addition to the President’s Council Advisory Board. She is a former member of the Health and Human Sciences Alumni Board. Patsy held several offices from 2006 through 2013, including president and treasurer. She serves her community’s Discover Indianapolis Club in Fishers, holding several leadership roles for over 10 years.

Patsy has received several honors, including the Purdue University Nutrition Science Department Hall of Fame recipient in 2009 and the Purdue University College of Health and Human Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016. She also received the college’s Gold and Black Award in 2016, an honor reserved for donors who have moved the college forward by committing exceptional financial resources.

In addition to endowing two scholarships, the Patsy J. Mellott Scholarship and Patsy J. Mellott HHS Scholarship, she established the Patsy J. Mellott Teaching Innovation Award in the College of Health and Human Sciences in 2013. In 2015, she endowed the Patsy J. Mellott Women’s Tennis Coach Performance Award. She is a lead donor in the Christine M. Ladisch Faculty Leadership Award and the Purdue Women’s Network Virginia C. Meredith Scholarship for the College of Health and Human Sciences.