Katie Pilgram-Kloppe ’08 KAѲ from Maplewood, Missouri (originally from Gerald, Missouri), will receive a Westminster College Young Alumni Achievement Award on Saturday, April 21, during the college’s Alumni Weekend.
Pilgram-Kloppe is the River’s Edge Zoological Manager at the Saint Louis Zoo. In this role, she oversees the day-to-day care and management of a variety of animal species, including endangered Asian elephants and critically endangered black rhinos. As a member of the animal care team, she is dedicated to providing safe, stimulating and naturalistic habitats and exceptional husbandry and care for the Zoo’s animals as well as being a public educator and conservation advocate for the Zoo’s guests.
“I had many leadership opportunities in the Westminster organizations that I was a part of, including Kappa Alpha Theta, Blue Jay softball and the Skulls of Seven,” Pilgram-Kloppe says. “Westminster’s vision of developing leaders in a global community is evident in my line of work; conservation of endangered species requires the collaboration of many people with similar passions.”
The Young Alumni Achievement Award is presented annually to alumni who demonstrate the Westminster mission through outstanding achievement early in their chosen career and/or dedicated leadership and service to their community and who have graduated within the past five to 15 years.
“The professors in the biology department at Westminster provided me with a strong foundation in animal behavior and ecology that paved the way for my career in animal care and conservation,” says Pilgram-Kloppe. “I also want to thank the Kappa Alpha Theta organization for a scholarship to travel abroad to Australia for a Tropical Marine Ecology study.”
Pilgram-Kloppe will receive her award at a special Alumni Honors Convocation Ceremony to be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 21, in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury on the Westminster campus in Fulton, Missouri. The award is approved by both the Alumni Council and the Board of Trustees. Only two alumni can receive the award annually.
“Westminster provides a lot of opportunities for students to find their own path and feel supported along the way,” says Pilgram-Kloppe. “Many of those opportunities are found outside of the classroom such as Blue Jay athletics, Greek life, and the many other organizations on campus. Besides a great education, you’ll come away with a whole new group of family and friends and memories that you will treasure for a lifetime. Also, if you enjoy playing sports, this is a great place to get a quality education and still have time to pursue other passions like I could with softball.”