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Pete and Joan (Nelson) Mattich

Motivated to Give Back

Pete '78 and Joan (Nelson) Mattich '77

“I wouldn’t be the person that I am today without those four years at PLU,” Joan says. “The university has given us so much; we want to give back.”

“We can’t…not give,” Pete says. Pete adds that they would not have been able to go to PLU without alumni support and most students today need financial help to attend college.

During their time at PLU, Pete and Joan not only met lifelong friends, but they also experienced great growth in their faith. That growth is attributed in large part to football legend and motivational speaker Frosty Westering and his sports motivation class.

“It should have been called life motivation,” Pete says. “It changed our lives.”

The positive Christian attitude Frosty, who passed away in April, brought to PLU influenced Pete and Joan to think of the needs of others.

“It is in giving that we are truly blessed,” Pete says.

As members of the Lifetime Giving Society, Pete and Joan have contributed faithfully since 1985. They have always found that giving systematically each month, instead of in one big annual lump sum, is much easier for them.

Pete is an agent for State Farm, one of many companies that match gifts to PLU.

“I strive to max out the matching gift program each year so PLU benefits,” Pete says.

Having named PLU as a beneficiary of several life insurance policies, Pete and Joan are also members of the Heritage Society.

“Giving back to PLU is a heart attitude,” Pete believes. “PLU would never ask you to give what you do not have. However, PLU is not able to utilize donations to help current students if alumni don’t give back from the heart.”

They believe it isn’t all about the amount given but rather the intention behind it. For them, the intention is to help students have the same opportunities for growth and success that they were blessed with.

They feel similarly about giving their time. Joan and Pete are class representatives; served on the Parents Council while their son, Steven Mattich ’13, attended PLU; and have volunteered for events including commencement and new student orientation.

“When others see that you are involved, it makes them want to become involved and enjoy the trip, too,” Joan says.