One of the most powerful ways people discover Alverno College is through word-of-mouth. Our alums know the impact an Alverno education can make, and they’re eager to share that story with future generations. But even if you don’t have a college-bound woman in your immediate circle, simply spreading the word about Alverno can make a big difference.

Such was the case for Katie Brierton, a recent Alverno graduate now working at Harley-Davidson in Milwaukee. Katie’s father works as a fire lieutenant and paramedic on Flight for Life, when one of his coworkers told him about Alverno while Katie was searching for the right college. Before that day, Katie had never heard of Alverno. “Initially, I wasn’t too keen on the idea of it being a women’s college,” she says. “I was even hesitant to come to an Open House.” However, she followed the alumna’s recommendation and agreed to visit Alverno. The rest is history.

Katie was immediately drawn to the inviting campus atmosphere, and loved Alverno’s small classes. She says, “After looking at many large colleges, Alverno was a breath of fresh air. I was immediately greeted by a student when I stepped on campus. Everyone seemed so friendly and eager to help.”

She ultimately chose to attend Alverno, and began to see herself transform within the first semester. “I started to take initiative, became more open to challenges and grew more confident than I ever had before.” She adds, “I like to think that I really found my voice during my time at Alverno.”

If her father’s coworker had never mentioned Alverno, Katie would not be the woman she is today. “Each path we take in life helps mold us into who we are and what we will become,” Katie explains. “Alverno was one of the best paths that I’ve chosen in life thus far. As a result, I’m a hard-working, independent and strong-minded woman.”

Now, it’s Katie’s turn to spread the word, and she’s ready to sing Alverno’s praises to anyone who will listen. “One of the listening ears was my younger sister,” Katie shares. “She is a very independent thinker, so the idea of going to the same college as her big sister was out of the question.” But, Katie knew that if her sister just visited Alverno once, she too would discover the difference it could make in her life. Sure enough, her sister fell in love with Alverno after visiting and applied. Katie says, “It couldn’t have been a prouder moment when I saw her receive her acceptance letter. I knew there’d be one more strong woman making her best contributions to our world.”

Sometimes, planting a simple seed is all it takes to change the trajectory of someone’s life. Our alums live their Alverno education every day, but spreading the word can mean another future student will discover her power and her place in the world.