Dr. Katherine Weeks graciously squeezed in some time to answer a few questions while prepping for the end of the semester.

Why did you choose Centenary for your undergraduate education? 
I chose Centenary for several reasons. I was raised in the Methodist church and was an active member of the youth group at the district and conference level. Many of my Methodist Conference friends chose Centenary College, so I knew that I would have an established group of friends on campus. It was the perfect distance from home, too. I lived about four hours from Shreveport, which was a reasonable trip to make on the weekends if I needed to go home, but it was too far away to tempt me to go home every week. Additionally, Centenary offered me an attractive scholarship!

What is your most cherished memory of your time at Centenary College? 
That’s tough! When I read this question, I saw flashes of friends, life in the dorms, studying in Mickle Hall, traveling abroad, and my collection of shirts from campus events. Is it cheating to say that my most cherished memory would be time spent with friends? Despite having an intense schedule with classes and studying, college life has so much free time. I cherish looking back at the time I spent with friends on late-night runs to get groceries or ice cream, playing board games, studying, watching movies, road trips, napping and eating waffles and ice cream in the Caf. Throughout my four years at Centenary, I had friends and roommates from France, Ireland, and all over the US, and I’m grateful for those connections. I also cherish the fact that I met my husband in Brown Chapel! I can see the Chapel from my current office window, so that memory crosses my mind often.

What inspired you to make your first gift to Centenary? 
I always planned on supporting Centenary, but immediately after graduation, there is usually a big transition in students’ lives, and giving back doesn’t always make it on the top of the to-do list. I got married and started graduate school shortly after graduation. Then we started a family and moved out of state. For years life was an ever-changing adventure. When we finally stopped moving around the country and established a routine, I was able to reflect on my short but full post-Centenary experience and knew that Centenary had set me on a trajectory that I would have never experienced had I gone to any other college. My first donation was small, but I was proud to do it, and I understood that every gift counts, no matter how big. My donation is one way I show my gratitude and continued support to the College.

You’ve now been a Centenary donor each of the past 7 years. What motivates your loyalty? 
I started working in the Chemistry Department at Centenary as a visiting assistant professor in 2014. I saw that Centenary faculty and students are still as dedicated and as amazing as I remember. The institution that set me on a path for success is still making a difference in students’ lives. We still value community engagement on the local and global level, appreciation and respect for each other and other cultures, and the ability to think critically. I get to see Centenary students and faculty engage with and challenge each other daily, which reminds me to give my gift of support. The emails and mailers also remind me. I especially like the email reminders because all I have to do is click on the link, fill out the form, and I’m done!

What piece of advice would you give to current students?
You are more likely to succeed if you take care of yourself, which is easier to do if you keep a strict schedule and set boundaries: get enough sleep, eat well, exercise, study, balance time alone and with friends, schedule breaks, and forgive yourself when you slip up.

Is there anything you’d like to share about Centenary that donors may not know?
Our small campus and small class sizes make it easy to give every student hands-on experience and one-on-one attention. For example, the chemistry department has invested over $750,000 in state-of-the-art equipment in recent years, and the faculty have integrated these sophisticated instruments into our courses and research programs. As a result, our undergraduates have hands-on experience with equipment that most people do not use until graduate school.

What is one interesting fact about yourself?
I grew up in south Louisiana where my dad raised alligators as part of a Wildlife and Fisheries program to increase the number of wild gators in the Louisiana swamps in the early 90’s. In addition to raising thousands of alligators every year, we had horses, sheep, goats, cows, chickens, rabbits, cats, and dogs. Although I don’t have any exotic animals, I still have horses, chickens, rabbits, a cat, and dogs.

If you could take any class taught by a colleague, which would you take and why?
It’s a toss-up between Sex and Gender with Dr. Michelle Wolkomir and Comparative Anatomy with Dr. Scott Chirhart. When I was a student, Sex and Gender had a reputation as being really challenging but completely worth it, and my current students say that that is still true. I would take Comparative for the same reason—I hear that the content (and Doc C.) is really challenging, and I enjoy being challenged.

Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy The institution does not discriminate in its educational and employment policies against any person on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, or on any other basis proscribed by federal, state, or local law.