You might not recognize Judy Jaeger's name but it's quite likely you'd recognize her smile, and there's an even greater chance you appreciate the work she does.
As the manager of caretaking, Jaeger is responsible for ensuring a clean, safe and attractive campus for students, faculty, staff and our community.
"I came to work at the U of L after 25 years in the cleaning business," recalls Jaeger. "I've been here for two years now and really feel a strong sense of community on this campus. That's something that's always been important to me, so I feel very lucky to be a part of that."
Believing that being part of a community comes with certain responsibilities, Jaeger has always tried to give back.
"I think it's important to give because I have the ability," explains Jaeger. "Being in caretaking, I was always trying to make things better for others by maintaining a healthy and clean environment. I wanted to keep giving but was looking for another way to do it."
Jaeger recently established the Judy Jaeger Bursary, an award aimed at helping students in financial need. The award demonstrates Jaeger's deep appreciation for the sense of belonging she feels at the U of L, and her strong commitment to ensuring continued opportunities for students.
"We have a lot of students who work casually or even part and full time," explains Jaeger. "I see how they struggle and how hard they have to work to make ends meet. It's nice to be able to help students because without them, none of us would be here."
Jaeger hopes her generosity will result in lasting impacts.
"I believe if you help people – especially when they're young – then they could go on to do anything," explains Jaeger. "If you give to students they can make their own dreams come true and hopefully make the world better for the rest of us."
In addition, Jaeger stresses that in tough times, individual donations – regardless of the size of the gift – make a difference.
"I don't think that it matters how much you give," says Jaeger. "If everyone gave a little it would all add up to a lot."