As you go through life, you reflect on your choices. Donna Gray ‘90 smiles in hindsight, knowing those choices created the best possible journey for her life. When she walked across the campus of Millersville University with her older sister Denise Draper-Chandler '80, she immediately knew she would follow in her footsteps and attend Millersville. The next major decision to impact her life at Millersville was becoming a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (Lambda Gamma Chapter). The education and the lifelong friendships created at MU shaped who she is today.
Graduating from Millersville in 1990, Donna set out on the journey to begin her career. After a year of searching for the right opportunity, she landed at State Farm Mutual Insurance Company. Ironically, once again following her sister who had worked at State Farm for almost 10 years. In the 26 years after graduation, State Farm would help to mold her professional growth, as this great job became a successful career. During these years Donna also raised her two children who are now college graduates and successful citizens in their own right.
As she grew with her career at State Farm, she was given many opportunities to lead different teams. And as the years passed and the industry changed, she was faced with the biggest choice of her life – one which would require her to leave her family and all her friends and loved ones to move to what felt like the other side of the world. After months of struggling with this dilemma, she decided to step out on faith and relocate to Arizona. Through this journey, she learned to leave the comfort of the trailblazing footsteps that preceded her to create her own. For the first time in her life, she set out without the cushion of her family. This journey has been met with many highs and some lows, but Donna would say she’s blessed and that the "highs" have far outnumbered the lows.
Living in Arizona has enabled her to seek and experience the beautiful landscape of her new surroundings. This venture has led her to a new passion..... hiking! Hiking has provided the physical challenge and the spiritual clarity she needed in her life. She has hiked more than 30 different mountains, several multiple times by tackling a different trail on each trip. One is Humphreys Peak, which stands 12,635 feet above sea level and is the highest mountain peak in Arizona. Someday she would love to hike Kilimanjaro in Tanzania which is 19,341 feet above sea level.
Life is about the journey and Donna’s journey continues to reveal who she is. That young woman who left Millersville University so many years ago, ready to climb mountains to find success, is still climbing and she’s confident the journey will not stop anytime soon.