Photos: Holly Lewis receives Lucile Sandefer Memorial Round Table Scholarship; Dr. Rosa Lee Prichard with Marsha Hammack; Cynthia Clawson performs
It’s official, the scholarship presented by the members of HSU’s Round Table have named it The Lucile Sandefer Memorial Round Table Scholarship. Up until this week’s Round Table Scholarship Luncheon, the fund was simply referred to as the Round Table Scholarship.
Tables marked with tall purple irises, on multi levels of the Hardin-Simmons University’s Van Ellis Theatre welcomed nearly 300 guests, February 26, 2013, to enjoy lunch and the gospel music of Grammy Award-winning singer Cynthia Clawson, and to award proceeds from the endowed scholarship to an HSU sophomore.
The Round Table Scholarship Luncheon comes more than 100 years after the organization was founded by HSU First Lady Lucile Sandefer, the wife of Jefferson Davis Sandefer, president first of Simmons College, then Simmons University, and then Hardin-Simmons University, from 1909 to 1940.
Marsha Hammack, Round Table president, master of ceremonies, and wife of vice president for institutional advancement, Mike Hammack, said during the lunch event, “Mrs. Sandefer held the philosophy that women should do something for society outside of home activities, and one of the first things she undertook was the formation of the Round Table.
“The members immediately got to work, digging flower beds, later adding pecan trees, new sidewalks, electric lights, a gazebo for the band, a campus greenhouse to grow new plants, just to name a few. The Round Table founders also instituted scholarships for deserving students, and three years ago, we paid tribute to those eight founders as we established this luncheon in their memory with the idea of granting scholarships to deserving young ladies who will be beginning their junior year at Hardin Simmons.
“In a little over two years, The Round Table has been able to endow this scholarship and with loving faith and in the spirit of those who blazed the trail before us, we are honored this year to name our scholarship, The Lucile Sandefer Memorial Round Table Scholarship, said Hammack.
The scholarship recipient is selected by a committee of the Round Table based on her commitment to her studies, her commitment to the university, and her involvement in the community.
Selected from a field of applicants, Holly Lewis, of Colorado City, Texas, received the newly named scholarship. Lewis is a biology major with a biochemistry minor, set to graduate in 2015 with plans to attend medical school.
Holly is active on campus as a member of Gama Beta Phi, the honors and service society, and has been named to the President’s List for two semesters. She is an active member of the HSU environmental student group, a member of First Central Presbyterian church where she is a Sunday school teacher, and volunteers for Meals on Wheels, the Medical Care Mission, and Hendrick Hospice Care. Lewis is also a half-marathon runner, a faithful blood donor, an HSU student tutor, and a newlywed, married in December to Axel Lewis, a 2010 HSU grad.
Sharing the moment with her were her husband, Axel Lewis, and her mother, Dana Mayfield, who serves as a pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Colorado City.
Holly says she is honored to be chosen for the award and honored to be a representative of Hardin-Simmons. She says she’s excited about her continued studies in medicine and says she’s most interested in palliative care for aging patients, which includes hospice care.
In addition to the scholarship, one luncheon guest was surprised to learn she had been selected to receive the HSU Round Table Virtue Award. Dr. Rosa Lee Prichard has a long family history with HSU.
Her mother, Lunelle Nix Hemphill, served as a faithful Round Table member for many years. Her father, Dr. Lee Hemphill, served on the HSU administrative staff as vice president for advancement. Nix Residence Hall was named in memory of her mother’s father and brother.
Born in Littlefield, Texas, she graduated in the top four of her high school class and magna cum laude from Hardin-Simmons. A secretarial science and religion major, she served in church secretarial positions for 30 years. In 2005 she was awarded another degree from HSU, the Honorary Doctor of Humanities
Prichard met her husband at HSU, marrying a year after graduation. For more than 50 years Prichard has generously supported HSU both financially and with her time. Over the years, she has given faithful service to four Boards; the Alumni Board of Directors, Board of Young Associates, Board of Development and the HSU Board of Trustees.
She has also been actively involved in numerous church organizations and committees, helping with a wide range of organizations, activities and serving in various leadership roles. She is currently beginning her second three-year term as a trustee at Baptist Retirement Community in San Angelo, Texas.
Grammy Award-winning singer Cynthia Clawson was the draw for this year’s third Round Table luncheon, following author and humorist Jeanne Robertson last year; and popular speaker and daughter of President Lyndon Johnson and Lady Bird, Linda Johnson Robb.
Clawson has performed with many award-winning contemporary Christian singers/songwriters such as Bill and Gloria Gaither, and is a frequent guest on the Bill and Gloria Gaither Homecoming Series. She is a 1970 graduate of Howard Payne University with a major in vocal performance and a minor in piano.
In 2007, Clawson was awarded an honorary doctorate from her alma mater and holds a similar honorary degree from Houston Baptist University. She is married to author/playwright and singer Ragan Courtney, who joined her at the event. They currently live in Houston, Texas.
One of the most exciting moments came at the end of the show with the announcement of next year’s Round Table entertainer. Drawing audible approval from the guests, Hammack made the announcement that singer/songwriter Gloria Gaither has signed on for the 2014 Round Table Scholarship Luncheon.