“She is the smiling face that greets me every time I go to the cafeteria,” says Tanner Enlow, a Hardin-Simmons University English major from Kerrville, Texas. Tanner is one many students at HSU who looks forward to seeing Bobbie Chew, the woman sitting at the cafeteria door, always smiling and giving a cheerful greeting, as she swipes I.D. cards for entry.
“The great thing about Ms. Bobbie is that she remembers everybody’s name. She is one of the sweetest people I know,” says Tanner.
Jenn Waldmann, director of annual giving at HSU, says 2011 marketing and economics grad, Andrew Derton, came up with the idea of a scholarship to honor the woman that meant so much to him as a student.
Waldmann says during the recent Grad Finale, an event set up exclusively for the convenience of soon-to-be grads to finalize commencement details, a table was set up to collect funds for the scholarship. The scholarship was amazingly kept a secret until today when students and others revealed the fund during a surprise party for Chew in Moody Center.
Waldmann says, “67 students, alumni, and friends are among the founding contributors to the Bobbie Chew Scholarship Fund.” Tanner says when he found out about the scholarship for Ms. Bobbie, he gave every cent and dollar he had in his pocket that day at Grad Finale.
Waldmann says the scholarship is unique in that all of the founding contributors will vote to determine how the funds will be allocated. “Normally when we ask for donations, the purpose of the fund has already been established,” says Waldmann. “We wanted the reason to give to be about honoring Ms. Bobbie and for the donors to continue their involvement by helping to select how the funds would be allocated.”
Derton says, “Ms. Bobbie started working at Hardin-Simmons the same year I came as a freshman in 2007. She always had a hug and a kind word of encouragement for me. Even during my later years when I lived off campus, whenever I passed by she’d make a point to check up on me,” says Andrew. “I was on campus not long ago and Ms. Bobbie called me by name and welcomed me with her familiar smile. I can’t even start to describe how wonderful it was to know that she was proud of me and the man I had become.”
Waldmann has included a page on the HSU website so students and others can honor Ms. Bobbie with a contribution to the Bobbie Chew Scholarship Fund, https://connect.hsutx.edu/msbobbie.