18-year-old gets surprise acceptance into Purdue
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Stephen Quillin’s parents lied to him. OK, not lied — misled.
Quillin thought his parents were taking him to a Purdue University basketball game Wednesday night. And while they did eventually get to the game, Quillin got one thing he was not expecting — acceptance to Purdue.
As a surprise, Purdue and Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana partnered to surprise Quillin as the first person to be accepted into Purdue for the class of 2022. Make-a-Wish also provided him with a $6,000 check for tuition.
Quillin, 18, of Sheridan, Indiana, has a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It’s not a terminal condition, but it’s a lifelong one.
“It doesn’t affect me day-to-day,” Quillin said.
With hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the heart muscle cells enlarge and can block blood flow, according to the American Heart Association.
Steve Quillin, Stephen Quillin’s father, said the condition limited his son from participating in a number of sports.
Kris Wong Davis, Purdue’s vice provost for enrollment, said that just because Make-a-Wish was involved doesn’t mean Quillin wasn’t qualified or that Purdue accepted him only because Make-a-Wish requested it.
“I’m glad we were able to do this for him,” Davis said. “He definitely should be accepted into Purdue. He’s a talented student.”
Quillin comes from a line of Purdue alumni. His father and mother both attended Purdue. His uncle, who’s also a pharmacist, was a Boilermaker. Oh, and his grandparents — Maggie and Phil Quillin — also went to Purdue and got pharmacy degrees.
Following in the footsteps of his relatives, Quillin was accepted into the college of pharmacy.
Steve Quillin said his son has been accepted into a few other colleges, but he’s been holding out for Purdue.
And is he proud of his son? Steve Quillin took a minute, looking at his namesake.
“I’m so proud of him,” he said.
“He’s got a lifetime illness and he’s been able to take that, and through the limitations he’s had to deal with, he’s been able to turn those into things that he can do,” Steve Quillin said.
Steve Quillin has no doubt that his son will accept and become a Boilermaker this fall.
But going to Purdue wasn’t always in the cards for Quillin.
“I used to be against it because so many other people in my family went there,” he said.
But it took a football game and realization that Purdue has some stellar science programs.
“I had to make the decision myself,” he said.
One reason he wants to be a pharmacist is to help people.
Quillin said he’s very grateful for the admission, mostly because he knows he’s been accepted.
“I was going to be sweating out the next few weeks waiting for admissions,” he said with a laugh.
Source: (Lafayette) Journal and Courier
Information from: Journal and Courier, http://www.jconline.com