From Student to Donor to Employee to Parent
Donor Says USD Will Always Be Part of Her Legacy
By Krystn Shrieve
Catherine R. (Wesolowski) Northcutt '96 (BBA), '17 (MA), who was set to attend San Diego State University, has no doubt it was divine intervention that made it possible for her to instead attend the University of San Diego.
Catherine graduated No. 1 in her class at Grossmont Community College. So she had the grades. And after a fateful meeting with a USD law professor who convinced her that Alcalá Park was the right place for her, she also had the desire. All she needed was a way to cover the cost. Then it came.
"Shortly thereafter, USD offered a grant," Catherine recalls. "It showed me that I could make it work. It was the inspiration I needed to know that I could do it."
That's the power of a scholarship, grant or other gift from a donor. It covers a financial gap. It paves the way for a student. It's the glimmer of hope and often the final piece of a puzzle that makes something possible.
Catherine, who was newly married to husband Dan, majored in business administration with a concentration in finance. She studied hard, earned a 4.0 and went to work for Merrill Lynch.
Catherine and Dan bought a house and set up a trust for the children that they knew would eventually come. It was at that point they thought again about the University of San Diego and, while they planned for the care of their future family, they also took a moment to support future students at USD.
They established a planned gift that will keep giving to students for generations to come.
"It was so easy to put USD into our trust. It was a simple way to give back to USD," Catherine says. "As a young student I promised to support USD just as USD supported me. USD filled a gap for me. They gave me peace of mind. And I always knew I'd give back."
Dan recalls fondly his wife's time as a student, and two decades later, life has come full circle. She's a student once again, this time earning a master's degree in higher education administration at the School of Leadership and Education Sciences.
After working in the financial planning industry, having children, and starting her own business as a life coach helping other moms go from being moms to entrepreneurs (or, as some call them, "mompreneurs"), Catherine's life came full circle in a second way and today she works at USD in Olin Hall where she studied so many years before.
Together, Catherine and Dan are known around campus as change-makers-a title they don't take lightly. For Dan, being a change-maker means loving his community, city and environment and supporting USD in ways that allow students to change the world locally and globally.
Catherine says for her, being a change-maker is a mindset, a way of being and the inspiration for action that comes from a heart of love.
"It means being the change I wish to see, leading by example and giving from the abundance inside me," she says. "It all starts within."
Soon the Northcutts' children intend to follow in their mother's footsteps and become Toreros themselves. So, as a student, an employee and eventually a parent, Catherine says USD will always be part of her life and that the decision to give back was an easy choice.
"It's not only my duty to support future generations," she says. "It's my honor."
You Can Be a Change-Maker
You can follow in Catherine and Dan's footsteps and leave a gift that opens doors of opportunity for future USD students. Contact Erin Jones at email@example.com or (619) 260-4523 to discuss giving options that fit your unique situation.
The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in any examples are for illustrative purposes only. References to tax rates include federal taxes only and are subject to change. State law may further impact your individual results. Annuities are subject to regulation by the State of California. Payments under such agreements, however, are not protected or otherwise guaranteed by any government agency or the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association. A charitable gift annuity is not regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and is not protected by a guaranty association affiliated with the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Charitable gift annuities are not regulated by and are not under the jurisdiction of the South Dakota Division of Insurance.
Every contribution to USD is important. Whether great or small, donations like yours build the Torero future.
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