Bambi (Quam) Gorman, 1991 Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms scholarship recipient, grew up in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. Her family, from a rural community in the 1970s, was focused on putting food on the table, not on encouraging advanced education.
And for Gorman’s family, education wasn’t part of the family’s history. Her father’s elementary education took place in a one-room schoolhouse, and he never finished high school. Gorman’s mother didn’t pursue education either, she was focused on building a family. For Gorman, this wasn’t abnormal—no one in her immediate or extended family graduated from college. It just wasn’t the focus.
“As I think about my successes now, it’s quite amazing I was able to put them together with parents who really had a main focus of feeding us every day,” shared Gorman. “They could in no way provide the kind of insight required to push me on to college.”
But her individual drive did.
An unfortunate experience led Gorman to not only pursue higher education, but ensure her future would be successful.
Gorman’s father was diagnosed with leukemia at age 38, when she was just a freshman in high school. This arduous life experience caused her to grow up quickly. The family spent years fighting for coverage of medical expenses and experimental therapies. While trying to figure out how to afford health care costs, the family worked hard on raising awareness for bone marrow donors to help put Gorman’s father into remission—an effort that most high school students can’t image. But for Gorman, she recalls this trying experience helped her become the person she is today.
“This experience shaped me and made me anxious to be successful quickly and incredibly driven,” shared Gorman.
While the family continued to care for Gorman’s father, she also knew she needed to focus on attending college to continue her studies. However, the family was struggling with the increasing healthcare costs, and contributing to higher education tuition wasn’t an option.
“I knew I wanted to go to Marquette and I knew I could find a way financially to make it happen,” shared Gorman. She paid for all four years of college herself, and credits the Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship for helping make it possible, offering her $8,500 in scholarship dollars over four years.
Goman reflected, “The scholarship made a huge impact—it was the way I was able to make it at Marquette. Truly, thank you does not say enough.”
While Gorman’s professional career didn’t take her into the agriculture field, she credits the Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship with her college and career success.
After graduating from Marquette University, Gorman was hired by Kimberly-Clark and held numerous roles within the company over the years. After some time spent in consulting, Gorman now works for New Jersey-based Soundview Paper as the Vice President of Commercial Operations. Gorman received an MBA from 2001 from Georgia State University.
Today, Gorman is married with two daughters, Caitlin and Addison. Her focus on community and health awareness has never been stronger.
“I try to give back by continuing to raise money and awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society by participating in their endurance fundraising program called Team in Training.” Gorman has raised more than $50,000 and is participating in two upcoming half marathons as part of her volunteerism and community engagement.
And today, Gorman remembers the scholarship and support she received fondly, “Thank you Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship. Thank you for taking a chance on me. The opportunities you provide lead to a lifetime of difference for the recipients.”