Mary Sadowski received her doctorate in Education from Purdue in 1984. She joined the faculty and earned tenure in the Department of Computer Graphics Technology before departing for a position at Arizona State University. Sadowski returned to Purdue in 2003 as associate dean for undergraduate programs in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute (formerly the College of Technology). Over the course of many years at Purdue, Sadowski also was dean of the Purdue Extended Campus and special advisor to the dean before her retirement in 2017.
Sadowski is a Mortar Board Honorary and has been a loyal Purdue Polytechnic supporter since 1988. As a female faculty member with a passion for recruiting minority and female students, she decided it was imperative to support diversity efforts in the college. Upon her retirement in 2017, Sadowski established the Dr. Mary Sadowski Diversity Program Fund, which will be fully endowed through a deferred gift of her life insurance policy. The primary purpose of this fund is to support programming and recruitment for a diverse pool of applicants to the Polytechnic. To make an immediate impact on diversity in the college, she also chooses to give annually to the fund.