Why I Give: Dr. Angela Nicolini
I married my soul mate and the love of my life, Edward M. "Ed" Wooten III, on October 21, 2000. Ed had inoperable cancer, and we knew it would take a miracle for him to live to celebrate our first anniversary. He died seven months and 23 days after our wedding.
Ed had attended the United States Air Force Academy Preparatory School, then received his Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies from USAFA in 1995. We met when Ed was stationed at Dyess Air Force Base. He had an exemplary military career, with honors including the Meritorious Service Medal for excellent and outstanding military service. One of Ed's goals was to someday go to law school and spend his life working to help those who usually have no representation.
At the time of his death, Ed was pursuing his MBA at Hardin-Simmons. My only connection with HSU was through Ed and a friend on the faculty. A few months after Ed's death, I determined that I wanted to do something special to honor his memory. My faculty member friend suggested that I establish an endowed scholarship in Ed's memory.
Creating the scholarship to honor Ed helped me to slowly begin the healing process. More importantly, it created a legacy that will endure long after I am gone. The best part is that students will benefit in perpetuity.
It has been amazing every year to meet the students who receive Ed's scholarship, and to have the opportunity to tell them about Ed. Early on, I made an additional gift to the scholarship every year for Ed's birthday. After a few years, I started making the gifts on my own birthday, as I realized these annual gifts have become gifts for myself. My birthday month wouldn't be complete otherwise.