WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Millions of dollars are awarded to students at Purdue for scholarships.
Some for academics. Some for athletics.
The athletes awarded scholarships from the Groben Society can meet and talk with their donor only once a year.
Friday night a scholarship dinner allowed just that.
Students were able to thank their donors for how they have impacted their lives.
"Because of you" was the slogan for the night.
Donors and student athletes met in the Holloway Gymnasium at Purdue to show gratitude toward one another.
"I'm just grateful to have Ira as my endower," said women's senior golfer Cova San Juan.
San Juan came from Spain to play collegiate golf and without Ira Hartoch's endowment she would not be able to follow her lifelong dream.
"It means a lot because I can make my dreams come true related to studies and golf," said San Juan.
Hartoch, an avid golfer, says after the girls golf team won the national title in 2010 he had to give back to the school where he received his bachelor's and master's.
"I see this as a way of paying it forward," said the retiree Hartoch. "It just gives you a warm feeling and I know it's trite and a lot of people say it, but when you do something like this you actually get more out of than what you give."
He has become apart of The Groben Society wall with his name etched into a name plate as long as he continues to provide endowments for Purdue student athletes.
"Purdue really did a lot for me," said Hartoch. "Everybody talks about the education and what it does and it opens doors that are incredible, but I made lifelong friends here."
And he made lifelong friends with San Juan.
"For sure I will keep in touch with him for the rest of my life," said San Juan.
"We're going to keep in touch and she's going to keep me abreast of what's going in her life and if I'm ever in Spain I'm going to visit her and if she's ever in Green Bay, Wisconsin she is going to visit me,” said Hartoch.