When Angi Putney started earning her degree in Music Performance at Northwestern in 2013, she wasn't sure she'd see graduation day. "The expectations were very high," recalls Putney. "It was really rough. My professor was hard on me. I was in tears much of the time." One day during second semester, coordinator of vocal studies professor Carol Eikum sat Putney down. "She asked me, 'Do you want to know why I'm so hard on you? It’s because I care about you and I believe in you and I want you to succeed.'"
That conversation changed the track of Putney’s life.
She threw herself into her work—studying, practicing and acquiring knowledge at a rapid rate. "I was like a sponge," she says. Today, the '16 grad is a classically trained vocalist and pianist and leads music ministry at Eagle Brook Church, traveling among each of the campuses.
She realizes her degree has helped her turn her music into a tool for leadership.
"I am reaching people for Christ," she says. "I'm connecting with them not just musically, but spiritually."
The newly-engaged Putney is thrilled about where she is now. She looks back on her time at Northwestern as some of the toughest but most rewarding. She credits the faculty with challenging students, holding them accountable, and walking alongside them to complete their degree.
"They don’t give you the easy way out," she says. "They can be strict. But they care about you not just as a student, but as a person."