Marquette University Alumni Association Alumni National Awards Weekend
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Karen L. Stiles CPS ’02

Karen StilesTucked inside an office filled with awards celebrating Karen Stiles’ achievements sits a phrase from author George Eliot: “It’s never too late to be who you might have been.”

Those words help explain Karen’s decision to come to Marquette after more than 20 years in business.

Karen’s career track was unusual. She began working in real estate right out of high school, then moved into the insurance business. She quickly became successful while working for Catholic Knights Insurance in Milwaukee.

But Karen thrives on challenges and began taking classes at Marquette while in her 30s. She was raising children, working full time and volunteering, most notably for WTMJ’s Call for Action program, which helps solve local consumer problems.

A television producer suggested she attend college because, as he said, “Education is always worth it.”

Karen says Marquette made her life as a student, mother and professional possible because she could take courses on Saturdays.

Today, her schedule is just as hectic: organizing fundraisers, continuing her live broadcasts for WTMJ, sitting on several boards and serving on a Marquette scholarship committee. She still works for Catholic Knights, as a financial service representative, and has won several awards, including the inaugural Catholic Knights Fraternal Life Award in 2008.

But Karen has a new directive. It comes from her son, Andy. During a discussion about achieving goals, he said, “Now you have to earn your master’s degree, Mom.”

So you may see Karen back at Marquette soon.


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