Pamela Joachim '77Giving back through a bequest in her will is one way for Pam to honor and recognize the difference a Saint Mary's education made in her life. When Pam was a student in the 1970s, she directly benefitted from the commitment of faculty members to engage with students beyond the classroom. She recalls several faculty members inviting her and other students to their homes for dinner. One of those faculty members was Professor Lou Guillou, and when encountering him and his wife, Maureen, twenty-five years after graduation, the warmth and engagement she remembered as a student was still evident. Similarly, many years after leaving Saint Mary's, Professor Larry Luttmers, upon learning that Pam's job required statistical application, smiled and reminded her of the stats class with which she struggled as a psychology major. She also recalls Professors Matt Vetter and Walter Ayotte guiding her toward summer employment opportunities in Winona. When Pam joined the Alumni Board years later, she could see that this commitment to students and the feeling of community continued to thrive, and Pam knew that she wanted to help sustain this environment for future generations. In the 1970s, the Lasallian philosophy wasn't identified by name as it is today, but that philosophy and mission — access to education and compassion for students — were nonetheless woven into the fabric of college life.
Today, Pam still finds herself using the lessons she learned in her Vocabulary Building class with Fr. Taylor. She also remembers a class on the New Testament as very interesting; taking the class prompted her to read the entire New Testament after graduation. Growing up on a farm in southern Minnesota as the middle child in a family of nine, she didn't have much time to study the Bible then. But the Catholic foundation from her parents led the way eventually to Saint Mary's, where Pam learned to think critically and put what she learned in the context of her life and the world around her.
By naming Saint Mary's University of Minnesota as a beneficiary of her estate, Pam will leave a legacy that continues the traditions and education that meant so much to her and have shaped her life.