Barry '78 and Bea (Dromgoole) Tyler '83
Barry and Bea Tyler both grew up in the Texas Panhandle. In July 1976, they both made a commitment to full-time Christian service. Though not fully aware what that meant at the time, they did know they needed to further their education. Bea was a licensed Vocational Nurse, and Barry had some college hours but had not finished his degree. Married with a four-month-old daughter, April, they headed to Hardin-Simmons.
Bea found a job in a physician's office and Barry attended school full-time. Barry also had a part-time job, but financially it was VERY tight. At Christmas time that first year, they barely had enough money for food, so gifts for April's first Christmas and any type of tree or decorations were out of the question.
They were told not to expect a Christmas bonus at the physician's office where Bea worked, even though employees were fortunate enough to receive bonuses in the past. At the office party, Bea didn't expect anything. As she and Barry were leaving, the physician and his wife handed out cards. When they got in the car to open what they thought would just be a Christmas card, something fell in Bea's lap. To their disbelief, it was a bonus check that was large enough for groceries, gifts for their little "Sweetie," and enough gas money for a trip home to be with family. Barry and Bea rejoiced in God's provision!
Not only were Barry and Bea blessed with quality educations at Hardin-Simmons, but they were also blessed with jobs. At the end of Barry's first semester, they moved into Anderson Hall as residence hall directors, which proved to be quite an experience. Their young daughter, April, thought everyone lived with that many boys! Five years of dorm life provided plenty of stories that Barry and Bea still tell. One favorite involves getting in their car to leave one day, only to find the car was tied to the tree in front of it!
Though finances were still tight at times, God took care of them. When Barry finished his undergraduate degree, he became the Director of Student Activities and Bea became the "dorm mom."
Meanwhile, Hardin-Simmons, Abilene Christian University, and McMurry College (now University) joined together to start a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, in which Bea enrolled. Bea was in the first graduating class of that program — a class with just 13 students.
Since then, nursing has provided many opportunities for Bea, primarily in critical care nursing. With a total of 38 years in nursing, Bea has spent 25 years in the Cath Lab. She loves having the opportunity to make a difference in people's lives and finds nursing to be very satisfying.
Barry and Bea have not forgotten how tight money was when they were in school. That's why they established a fund at Hardin-Simmons to help nursing students with those things for which there's just not enough money. It may be a tank of gas, money for a sitter to allow more time to study for finals, funds to pay to repair the refrigerator that quit running, or maybe a gift or two for a baby's first Christmas. Whatever it is, Barry and Bea know how support for those "little things" makes all the difference.
For information about how you can join Barry and Bea in supporting Hardin-Simmons students, please contact Mike Hammack or one of our development officers at (325) 670-1260 or firstname.lastname@example.org.