It’s no accident that Denton Sederquist ended up at Purdue. He can recall how many letters and pages of information he received from the university as a prospective student – 526 pages – some 25 years later. Needless to say, Sederquist is not someone who forgets when you’ve done something for him.

Coming from Richland Center, Wis., a town of just over 5,000 people about 350 miles from Purdue, Sederquist didn’t know one person when he got to campus. So he appreciated it more than most when his resident assistant (then called a counselor) took an interest in him. After getting to know a bunch of the other guys on his floor in Shreve Hall and deciding he enjoyed residential life more than going to his accounting classes, he spent six years as an RA or staff resident and ended up with a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration in 1997.

“I was given an opportunity and a full ride scholarship basically. You’re talking about a kid from a small town in Wisconsin getting a scholarship at a Division-I university, becoming an RA, and they’re basically saying, ‘School’s on us.’ Tell me that won’t make you work your butt off,” Sederquist said.

Sederquist ended up turning res life into a full time job, working four years at Central Washington University and then 18 months at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz., when he got a call from Purdue. There was an open res life manager position (now called an area coordinator) at his alma mater, the school that had sent him a novel’s worth of information to get him to campus. The place with all the RAs whose names he can still rattle off years later. He returned to Purdue in 2003 and still works in the Residential Life department.


“I get to work with admissions people, going out and recruiting our students. I get to work with our alumni to bring them back to talk to our students. In between my real job, watching the RAs grow up and helping area coordinators teach them, I’m teaching hall club, working with faculty fellows… It’s a play box every day, and they’re paying me to do this,” Sederquist said.

After receiving so much from Purdue over the years – what was first an education and an opportunity is now a home and a career – it’s no surprise that Sederquist wants to give back. Which is why he gives to the RAISE Fund, established in 2006 by another former Purdue counselor to help University Residences cover the cost of tuition for RAs. By contributing to the fund, Sederquist helps ensure that a Purdue resident assistantship is one of the best in the country, drawing the best students and making sure that generations of Boilermakers feel as at home at Purdue as he has.

“I work for a great university. There are a lot of great people here, and I have had some wonderful mentors,” Sederquist said. “So it’s time to give back, and I learned a lot from the RA position. The RAISE Fund is an opportunity for me to give back to the system that’s given me so much.”

What do you want your legacy to be? Learn more about giving to the RAISE Fund.

Writer: Matt Vader | Editors: Tammy Loew, Renee Kashawlic, Danielle Fawbush

Editorial Board: Barb Frazee, Tammy Loew, Renee Kashawlic | Inquiries Contact:

Subscribe to Get ReConnected newsletter.