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Life-changing times inspire legacy of giving
Dana Badgerow was at a crossroads in her life, and it was her connection to Saint Ben's that provided her meaning and purpose when she needed it most.
When Badgerow joined the Saint Ben's Board of Trustees in 2000, she was a successful executive at the international technology giant, Honeywell. She had risen through the ranks to vice president of global operations. After Honeywell merged with Allied Signal, "it became increasingly difficult to find my place and values in the new company," explains Badgerow. So she resigned from her position in 2001.
Badgerow was unemployed and "without an anchor," she says, after losing the stability and consistency of a career that she loved and knew well. To complicate the situation, she was told she was over-qualified for nearly every position she pursued. "For the first time in my life I felt as if I had no professional purpose," says Badgerow. "It was extremely frustrating and humbling.
It was during the low point in career that Badgerow's connection with Saint Ben's began to thrive. She found her work as a trustee to be especially rewarding. She was able to use her skills and experience to help the college focus on new initiatives, including women's leadership development. She was comforted by the support she received from her fellow trustees and the entire Saint Ben's community.
Neither Catholic nor a Saint Ben's alumna, Badgerow says her connection to the college is profound. "besides looking for my help and guidance as a trustee, the community at Saint Ben's really cared about me," she explains. "It has been a lifeline at a critical time in my career, and it provides me inspiration every day."
Eventually, Badgerow's education (she holds a law degree and an MBA) and experience were rewarded with new career opportunities. After Honeywell, she served as the secretary of administration for the State of Minnesota and was lauded by then Gov. Tim Pawlenty for her leadership, effectiveness and service to the state. Currently, Badgerow is the chief executive officer at the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota.
Now in her second term as a trustee, Badgerow continues to help lead Saint Ben's forward. She is a member of the Centennial Steering Committee and the chair of the subcommittee focused on athletic and student activities.
Badgerow wants to ensure that the values of Saint Ben's continue and that future generations of women have access to a Saint Ben's education. Accordingly, besides her continuing volunteer support, she has made an estate commitment to the college as well as a cash commitment to the Centennial Campaign, which will provide student scholarships.
"For all that Saint Ben's has done for me and continues to do for our students, I am happy to leave a legacy for the Saint Ben's women of tomorrow through my estate gift."
By Bill Hickey as seen in Saint Benedict's Magazine Spring 2013