Alumni and Friends
Never Stop Learning
Julie K. Peters likes to walk the mile from her home to the St. Cloud State University campus where she's an adjunct professor of communications. The trip gives her the opportunity to marvel at the place that has been a wellspring for more than four decades. She smiles as she passes the leafy maples at the intersection at Garvey Commons.
"Those trees were planted the year I graduated," she says, "and now I could probably just barely get my arms around their trunks."
It's not a stretch to imagine Julie hugging the trees at St. Cloud State, where she completed a degree in theater and communications after a year and a half at the National Academy of Drama in New York City. She also attended Woodstock—a fact that earns instant credibility with students now.
Discovering Her Passion
While her flower child years formed many of her values, she says Minnesota's morals are what called her back to complete a bachelor's degree at St. Cloud State in 1970. She juggled her schooling with a part-time teaching job at Willmar Community College. The teaching gig is what confirmed her passion.
"I really liked teaching—I really liked it," she says.
In addition to teaching, Julie created a consulting business she named It's Never Over...the business of learning. She also developed a 15-module e-library called WISERSM, which covers the topic of federal employment law compliance.
While Julie's businesses have taken her as far as Malaysia, she also enjoys exploring the world via the books in the St. Cloud State library. Julie often stops to scan the shelves for new books on subjects ranging from religion to sociology.
"There's so much ancient energy there," she says.
Julie has made two gifts to the St. Cloud State University Foundation—a scholarship and a gift in her will.
"St. Cloud State has given me the opportunity to realize my passion for teaching and learning," she says. "It's called putting your money where your mouth is."
When it comes down to it, it is the students that motivate Julie. Madison, a student of Julie's, gave her a letter thanking Julie for the impact she had on her life.
"You were always encouraging us to meet new people and make new connections," Madison wrote.
"That's why I teach," Julie says. "I know that Madison, in her life, will continue to do that, and that will help her grow. And there's no doubt in my mind that she will continue to pass it forward.
"When people look back and say, ‘What was important to Julie?' they'll know the answer: Never stop learning."
How Will You Be Remembered?
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