Regina Biddings-Muro, vice chancellor for institutional advancement at Purdue University Northwest, is leading a charmed professional life. Responsible for fundraising, marketing and communications, alumni relations, and university events, she says, “It’s personally fulfilling to visit with both students, whose lives are transformed by their degrees, and donors, who are so joyful about providing opportunities for students. It makes me jump out of bed and smile.”
Her favorite day is commencement day. “Every year, watching students collect their degrees, and knowing the sacrifice, dedication, and focus that went into getting those degrees, is so satisfying,” she says. “Those degrees also represent the investments of donors who value education and transforming the lives of our graduates and, through them, our community.”
In addition to being a public face of Purdue University Northwest, Biddings-Muro is a behind-the-scenes supporter in the local community as an Edgewater board member, through her work with the Urban League of Northwest Indiana, and is actively involved with her church, SS. Monica & Luke in Gary. Recently, she served as part of a team assisting Gary mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson with a project on cabinet leadership development. “It’s fulfilling giving back to the community, and the university wants us out in the community,” she says.
She’s also known for her sense of style which, she says, “is all about the shoes.” Biddings-Muro jokes about being a “typical woman” and how she bonds immediately with other women over mutual shoe envy. She traces the roots of her extensive shoe collection to the traditionally conservative corporate dress code for women in which suits are the standard uniform. “Accessories are my chance to express the personal me,” she says.
Because her demanding schedule leaves little free time, Biddings-Muro admits that her “guilty pleasure” hobby is online shopping. She confesses, “I didn’t intend for it to become a hobby, but I love hunting and shopping online late at night.” Though she loves the idea of shopping local—especially for vintage items—her schedule makes that difficult. “It would be nice if the local business community had a better online shopping presence.”
As a consummate professional, she tends to stick to her standard dark suits, but she enjoys mixing things up a bit in the summer by adding in color, floral accents, and other accessories that provide visual interest and variety. “It’s important to have a sense of style and polish,” she says. “It conveys respect and concern for other people.”
In addition to polish, Biddings-Muro identifies energy as her key style staple. “I’m energetic, and I like to convey energy through my style and presence. I have a team of individuals who inspire me, and I want to inspire them as well that we can conquer any challenge.”