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Laurie Roselle: A Lifetime Spent Doing Good

Laurie Roselle pictured with sorority sisters and friends

A desire to “Do Good,” is not just an aspiration, but a way of life for the sisters of Delta Gamma Fraternity. The founders of Delta Gamma chose the Greek letters Delta and Gamma because of their desire to “Do Good” for others. It remains a core tenet of the fraternity’s culture today and serves as a driving force for its members' efforts in philanthropy, service and appreciation for each individual.

In the 150-plus years since Delta Gamma’s founding, there is perhaps no one who better embodies this spirit than Purdue alumna Laurie (Petrucce) Roselle, who has dedicated her time and talents to Delta Gamma and innumerable philanthropic causes over the last four decades. Roselle’s selfless spirit continues to shine today as she courageously battles ALS, a rare neurological disease that primarily affects the nerve cells that control muscle movement, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“I’m sure if 23andMe [a DNA testing company] could identify the genes that reveal ‘Do Good,’ Laurie’s DNA would indicate this is her superpower. She simply shows up whenever there is a need for anyone anywhere,” says Teresa Roche, a fellow Purdue alumna and Delta Gamma. “She has been tireless in her service to others.”   

Roche met Roselle as a member of the Delta Gamma pledge class in the spring of 1975. Roche recalls that, even then, Roselle radiated energy and passion while possessing a unique ability to rally others to her causes. Roselle served as president of their pledge class and later as Delta Gamma’s intramural sports chair. Under her guidance, Delta Gamma won the sorority intramurals for softball and track and field.

Roche recalls Roselle’s competitive spirit shining through in a wheelbarrow race where the two were partnered together. Roche’s arms gave out near the finish line, but Roselle didn’t care – she pushed Roche across the finish line anyway. With grass and mud stains on her face, Roche couldn’t help but laugh and celebrate.

“What I saw in Laurie then was her natural leadership DNA,” Roche says. “She believed in others and brought out our best individually and collectively.”

In addition to holding leadership roles in Delta Gamma, Roselle served as a hostess for Old Masters, was an Earhart Hall floor representative and volunteered at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church. Fellow Delta Gammas say that it was her passion for their organization where her impact was most strongly felt. Heidi Hollings, a fellow Delta Gamma, notes that Roselle’s leadership provided a beacon for the sisters of DG to follow.

“From the moment I met her, she was a shining example of what sorority sisterhood can be,” Hollings says. “Laurie was enthusiastic about all things DG and was very inclusive of the new members.” 

Since graduating from Purdue in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science, the leadership and enthusiasm Roselle exemplified to her sisters in Delta Gamma has shined through her selfless devotion to the national organization. Her service to DG includes serving as fraternity president, several vice president positions, regional director and regional collegiate recruitment specialist, membership on the Delta Gamma Foundation Board of Trustees and numerous advisory, house corporation and alumnae roles.

laurie-roselle-Head-Shot-2010.jpgIn each of these roles, Roselle has represented the ideals of Delta Gamma to the highest standard. Wherever there has been a chance to make an impact and “Do Good,” Roselle has been involved – again and again. She has led philanthropic efforts that have impacted organizations such as the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and local organizations in several cities.

As friends will attest, when Roselle sees a need, she acts. When high school students in New York City lacked dresses and formal wear for prom, she organized a comedy night through the Princess Project that raised over $20,000 in cash for accessories and formal wear. When she noticed soda cans and bottles at her workplace weren’t being recycled, she made arrangements with her employer to pay staff overtime to clean and sort the cans, leading to weekly gatherings to sort the cans. Funds from the recycling program were donated to Smile Train and purchased more than 100 smiles for children with cleft palate. She created and organized her law firm’s participation in the Light the Night Walk for blood cancers.

Locally, Roselle chaired Tables that Bloom as a member of the Delta Gamma Indianapolis alumnae organization, which raised enough money to design an ICU suite at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital. Designated the Oliva Manning Suite – named in honor of Peyton’s mother, a Delta Gamma from Ole Miss – the room is decorated in a nautical theme to celebrate the Delta Gamma anchor symbol. Roselle also served as a board member and key volunteer in helping visually impaired children and their families get acclimated to Indiana Visually Impaired Pre-School Services (VIPS) and was awarded the VIPS-Indiana Beach award as their volunteer of the year. She has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity.

Laurie’s husband, John, has been an enthusiastic supporter of her endeavors. An award-winning baker, John has provided pies and baked goods for many trivia nights, luncheons and other events. While Laurie and John do not have children, she has been an enthusiastic supporter of their nieces and nephews as part of the Indianapolis Cathedral High School Mom’ Club.

As a result of this selflessness and impact, Roselle is one of only two Delta Gammas to be honored with all six of the organization’s major awards – the Cable, Loyalty, Oxford, Shield, Anchor and Rose. She has also been honored with Stellar Awards from multiple Delta Gamma chapters.  
Throughout all her endeavors, Roselle has kept her alma mater close. She has provided mentorship and networking opportunities to students through Delta Gamma’s Aunt Hannah program, which pairs current seniors with successful alumnae in their chosen fields. She served as chair of the Beta Iota Chapter’s 75th and 80th anniversary celebrations at Purdue, and chaired the Purdue Fraternity and Sorority Alumni Advisory Council and Purdue University Greek Alumni Council. Roselle was named the recipient of the Student Life Service Award in 2021.

In recognition of the standard of excellence Roselle has set, Fraternity, Sorority and Cooperative Lie at Purdue (FSCL) has renamed one of its awards in her honor. The Laurie (Petrucce) Roselle Catalyst award will recognize a fraternity or sorority that precipitates positive change through necessity, courage or careful planning. It is meant to recognize organizations that do good and set a standard of excellence without seeking anything in return. The winner will be recognized with an engraved nameplate in the FSCL office.

“Laurie’s impact on the world has been best felt as a community leader and servant,” says Brandon Cutler, director of FSCL. “Her passion for helping others and making the world a better place is second to none.

Despite being diagnosed with ALS in September 2021, Roselle continues to Do Good. She has inspired people across the nation to go All in for Laurie to fund research for ALS through the Live Like Lou Foundation. John Harkey, a friend of the Roselles, biked 100 miles to raise awareness. Others recently supported a trivia night and silent auction that raised $73,999 for Live Like Lou. Overall, the Roselles have raised more than $200,000 and funded an undergraduate research grant at the University of Notre Dame with proceeds from events in 2022 and 2023.

Despite the challenges of ALS, Roselle continues to share upbeat messages with her loved ones and rally others to her cause.

“Since Laurie’s diagnosis with ALS, she has continued to do good and inspire others,” Hollings says. “Even though she can’t speak any longer she uses her assisted technology to stay in touch and connect with others. Laurie has always been the queen of the handwritten thank you note. Now, she uses her eye gaze and computer to spell out email messages instead. She also remains active on Facebook. Every time she makes a post, she ends with ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’ I’m sure she has had her moments but overall, Laurie has not let ALS take away her joy or her desire to help.”

Friends and colleagues say it is no surprise that Roselle continues to impact others even as she navigates the challenges of ALS.

“Laurie leads a purpose-driven life,” Roche says. “Her love for others runs deep. She has elevated and lit the path for many nationwide in all her endeavors. She is highly principled. No matter what comes her way, she finds a way to keep going.”

With a deep commitment to service for others, Roselle has spent a lifetime doing good for others – and it’s clear she will continue to do so no matter what challenges she may face.