Photo of Marty Feldkamp

Marty Feldkamp '13: Delivering on a Promise

By Angela Grossmann-Roewe '98

The journey as a non-traditional college student for Marty Feldkamp '13 isn’t your typical endeavor; it’s a tribute to two admirable women - herself and an irreplaceable woman who molded her into the woman she is today, and it’s been filled with several curveballs.

Marty chose to head right to work after graduation rather than advancing her education despite her parents’ wishes for her to become the first college graduate in their family.

She began working part time at UPS as an unloader, and then advanced to a part-time supervision position, but she soon saw her career was not advancing as she had anticipated, and she knew exactly why.

“Unfortunately at the time, I did not prioritize my education and the money was attractive,” Marty said. “I was making what most would consider a good salary, but I was only recognizing the short-term benefits.”

Her mother, who has since passed away, encouraged her to go back to school to study business administration, and so Marty didn’t have to make a go of it alone, her mother enrolled with her at the age of 59.

Her college education soon took a hiatus when her work schedule at UPS changed. She meant to return to class sooner, but real life happened: She lost both of her parents, married, and became a stepmother and a mother - all within 12 years. Shortly after these life-altering events, she received yet another subtle reminder about the importance of a college education.

“I have always been a hard worker with awards for outstanding results,” she said. “I was made aware of a better opportunity at UPS, and I went for it thinking my experiences would speak for themselves; after all, I had proven results. However, once again, the lack of a degree prevented me from getting the job.”

After this, she picked up where she left off at McKendree, making education her number one priority and the hard work paid off as she was recently promoted to the director of enterprise accounts in the healthcare sector at UPS.

“The professors have always believed in me,” she said. “The act of balancing work, school and family is difficult, and yet, these people have made it exciting by sharing their perspectives in business and in life. Their love of education is contagious.”

Marty, who graduated in December of 2012, hopes to continue her mother’s legacy by establishing a scholarship in her name.

“We all need someone to believe in us and when they do we are inspired to use our gifts and contribute back to the world we live in,’ she said. “There is not a day that I walk into class that I do not remember how excited Mom was to learn and how she treated it like an opportunity. She was a selfless, genuine person who loved to see people succeed, and if I could help someone get closer to their degree it would be a wonderful tribute to her.”

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