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Debra (Schuler) Zarsk '83

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Debra Zarsk, middle, with her daughters Emily and Jennifer at Jennifer's wedding.

Simply put, I give to Hardin-Simmons for the same reason I give to any other organization: I believe in the mission, and I want to support it. However, my reasons for supporting the university go far beyond that. I appreciate the education and the experience that I received at HSU, and I want to do what I can to help others have the same opportunity. My giving is both an act of appreciation and gratitude.

Recently my time at Hardin-Simmons came to mind when our pastor challenged us to "double our dust." The term comes from ancient rabbinical students who followed so closely behind their master that they would be covered in their master's dust. This brought to mind several faculty and staff members at HSU that I still remember as getting me "dusty," and preparing me for things to come in my life. One person in particular was my marketing professor, Tom Moritz.

Mr. Moritz got hundreds of us dusty over the years. He kept the material exciting, related it to real-world experiences, challenged us—and most of all—he made us think! The critical thinking skills I learned and refined during my courses with him gave me an edge in a challenging and competitive business world. He took a personal interest in all his students, and it was he who truly directed the path my life has taken since graduation.

Knowing my interest in retailing and travel, he set up a visit for me with the general manager of the Dyess Air Force Base Exchange (BX). A retired Air Force major, Mr. Moritz thought I would enjoy combining my love for retail with the chance to see the world by working for the Exchange Service. I am now a director with the Exchange and recently celebrated 30 years of service. It has been absolutely the most rewarding career I could have imagined, and it continues to be an honor to serve our soldiers and airmen.

Moving from a lifetime of growing up in New York City to Abilene, Texas was a challenge, but through HSU, I started to discover who I really was. I'm appreciative of the way the school nurtured and guided students, and have found that I receive positive recognition when telling others of my alma mater (Latin for nourishing mother). Hardin-Simmons has sustained the tradition of excellence in Christian education that has defined many of us fortunate enough to spend time on its 40 acres. Giving is one of the most positive and rewarding ways I've found to be engaged and involved in the life of HSU beyond graduation.

Learn More

For information about how you can join Debra in ensuring a brighter future for the university with a planned gift, please contact Mike Hammack or one of our development officers at (325) 670-1260 or plannedgiving@hsutx.edu.

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