“Through you, we see how God is faithful to us,” said
Rebecca Rhodes, a Hardin-Simmons University senior as she spoke to the donors of
endowed scholarships during the Donor and Recipient Scholarship Luncheon April
Hardin-Simmons University gave qualifying students
more than $13,000,000 in scholarships during the 2013-14 academic year. About
$2,000,000 of that total came from the donors gathered at the luncheon, each
anxious to meet the student or students chosen to receive their scholarship.
“I see the
sacrifices that people make to help students. People here have given
because you were more important to
them than that thing they could have purchased,” said Mike Hammack, HSU vice president for
institutional advancement, as he addressed the students at the luncheon.
“As joyous as you may be feeling about the money you have
received, a day will come when you will have the opportunity to pave the path
for the next generation. One day many of you receiving these gifts will be the
donors of them. The real joy will come then, when you take the seat of the
person next to you,” said Hammack.
As the scholarship donor chosen to be this year’s featured
speaker, Betty Mann related the story of how she and her husband Eddie were able
to set up an endowed scholarship. They were prompted by Betty’s son, Glenn, a
1979 HSU graduate and now music teacher in Killeen, Texas.
“When I think of this life, it is such a small part of our
eternal lives. Each of us has that marvelous gift that Christ has brought us,”
said Mann, illustrating a central theme of eternal life and the importance of
what we do while on Earth.
Betty related the story of her husband’s family, German immigrants
settling in South Dakota to escape the growing chaos of what would eventually
become World War II. The cold north of the Dakotas, along with drought, sand
storms, and grasshoppers, influenced the family to later move to South Texas,
The lower Rio Grande Valley would prove to be a tough
landscape of cactus, mesquite, and rattlesnakes. The family settled to eke out
a living from the land, starting a small dairy farm. “Eddie and his brother,
George, worked hard to make that land into a prosperous dairy, doing a superb
job,” she said.
The Manns would later move to Yorktown, Texas, and start
another flourishing dairy, but as it was soon to be seen, the land was destined
to deliver more than milk.
“They started punching holes all around there,” exclaimed
Betty with arms flung wide to show the breadth of affected land. “Black Gold,
Texas Tea, and pockets started filling up with money,” she said.
One of the recipients of the scholarship is Rebecca Rhodes, senior
art and ministry major from Grand Prairie, Texas.
“When I was looking for a university to attend, I
applied to nine schools. I chose Hardin-Simmons because I knew I had a good
future here and the majors at HSU were a good fit for me,” said Rhodes, who
chose HSU over a full-ride scholarship to the University of Texas at Austin.
“HSU provided the scholarships I needed to help
with my degree. Mostly, I want to challenge all of the students here to think
about the generosity of those around us and to think about what that generosity
has meant to you.”
luncheon gave about 80 students the opportunity to personally thank those
responsible for helping with their education.
plans to graduate this May and hopes to begin a career as a hospital chaplain.