Karen Spencer - Featured VAN Member
“Thanks to having had an amazing experience working with Jennifer Jones-Hall as vice-president of Inter-Sorority Council, I initially wanted to be a Dean of Greek Affairs,” recalls Karen Spencer Blum (VU ’97).

Giving tours for VU’s Office of Admission as a senior and repeatedly telling people how much she loved Valpo, however, redirected this VAN member’s interest to a career in higher education administration.

Karen’s higher education path took her to a three-year stint as Assistant Director of Admissions at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and a two-year stint at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania. Now mother of baby Charlie and toddler Libby, Karen serves as Director of Education Guidance for College Coach. Karen’s current position allows her to provide education guidance to not only private families but also to corporations. In spite of this busy family and work life, she manages not only to serve VAN but also to sit on the Board of Directors for Camp Arcadia.

Karen and husband Will 

”The best advice I was given at Valpo was from Dean Katherine Antommaria,” declares the LaGrange, Illinois, native. “In a meeting for students preparing to go to graduate school, she told us that we attend a university located somewhere we think we might want to live. She added that if you love it, then you’ll know; and if you don’t, you only have to spend two to three years there, and you can move elsewhere.”

A Psychology major with minors in Theology, Music, and Political Science, Karen chose to pursue her Masters Degree in Education Counseling at the University of Virginia. There she not only fell in love with the weather, but also with husband Will, an IT guru. They reside in Arlington, Virginia.

Ironically, though, some of Karen’s fondest VU memories took place in the cold Northwest Indiana winters when she sang at madrigal dinners, attended Christmas Vespers, and played intramural sports.

“Valpo felt like home to me,” says Karen. “My favorite things about it were the sense of community, my experience with the Greek system, the late night Sunday worship services, and the people. My best friends all came from my years at Valpo. It attracts good people. Salt of the earth people who are going to do good things for their communities.”