Giving to HSU Is an Investment in the Future
Javier '89 and Daisy Dominguez '86 Sanchez give back to Hardin-Simmons "because our world needs institutions of higher education like HSU," Javier says. "Hardin-Simmons offers not only an academic education to its students, but it is also sending out future employees who will be ethical leaders in their fields and point others to Christ. We believe that HSU is serious in its motto of offering an education enlightened by faith. We give because we believe it is part of our responsibility as believers to support organizations that are furthering the message of the gospel. We also know that there are students attending HSU who are not believers, and it is our hope that those students will encounter Christ as a result of their time spent and relationships formed while at HSU."
Daisy came to Hardin-Simmons from El Paso. "I had family attending HSU, so that was definitely part of my choosing to attend there. I had also been on the campus as a part of Texas Baptist All State Youth Choir and had attended a high school weekend as a senior. I knew I wanted to go out of town for college, and Abilene was certainly far from El Paso! Everything just fell in place for me to attend." Daisy earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education with a kindergarten endorsement and a music minor.
Javier was working in San Antonio when he and his family travelled to Abilene to visit longtime friends whose son, HSU alumnus Alex Vasquez, set up a meeting with the admissions department for Javier. All the pieces fell together for Javier to start at HSU. "I literally went home, packed and returned to HSU. I even ended up with a resident assistant position in Nix Residence Hall when I came back that fall," he says. Javier earned a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice with a sociology minor. "God was most certainly in both of our stories getting us to Hardin-Simmons."
Hardin-Simmons had teachers and mentors that made a firsthand difference in the couple's lives. Daisy shares, "When attending a high school weekend event on campus in 1982, I sat next to legendary professor Dr. Lawrence Clayton at a dinner. We visited, and for the next four years he remembered me and my name. Any time I crossed paths with him on campus, he stopped and took the time to visit with me and check on how I was doing. I never had a class with him, but he still took an interest in me. Even now, 33 years later, I still remember that investment he made in me. I also had some wonderful professors in the Irvin School of Education. Dr. Cynthia Green was not only a professor, but she was also a friend. I remember being in her home for a Christmas party, and I shared an interest in sewing with her that led to us developing a friendship beyond the classroom. I loved sitting under the instruction of Dr. Peter Gilman, and of course there was none other like Dr. Bertie Kingore. I certainly left HSU prepared for a career in education!"
Javier says, "I thoroughly enjoyed all of my classes with Dr. Alan Stafford. His method of presentation in every class was encouraging and permeated each student in his class. In fact, the students in the law enforcement program spoke so highly of Dr. Stafford's positive influence that non-criminal justice students began to take his class as electives. Years later, while in Abilene for business, I took time to make a quick trip to the university in search of Dr. Stafford to update him on my career. Upon seeing me, he immediately called me by name. Throughout my career, I constantly remember Dr. Stafford and the positive impact he had in my life and my career."
It wasn't all serious studies, however. Their favorite memories of their time at HSU were often the goofy things that went on around the campus. There used to be a fountain between Moody Center and Behrens Chapel that someone dumped laundry soap in at least once a semester. Daisy remembers students letting marbles roll during chapel from the back of Behrens all the way to the front. They loved it when the professors served pancakes late at night during finals week and then a food fight broke out in one section of the cafeteria.
Daisy says, "I remember tanning on the lawn behind Behrens and Lange residence halls every spring before all the additional buildings appeared. I remember lots of other silly and questionable things that should not be mentioned here in case our daughters happen to read this." Two of their daughters attended Hardin-Simmons, so they were able to transfer both the shenanigans and values through generations.
The two met at church in a Bible study after Daisy started student teaching for Abilene ISD and Javier was on campus as a student. They were married in November of 1989 and moved to Denton for a job opportunity for Javier. According to Daisy, "Javier went to work for the U.S. Courts Northern District of Texas in 1999 and that job brought us to San Angelo. HSU had once again added the football program, and the proximity to Abilene brought us back to attend games and Homecoming. As our daughters grew, we visited HSU more with the purpose of exposing them to the university in hopes that they would also want to attend HSU when it came time for college. We got two out of three there! Our two oldest daughters, Adrienne Morgan and Alex, graduated from HSU. Our youngest is currently a senior at another purple university in Ft. Worth."
As alumni, Daisy "was involved with the Alumni Board for several years, which was a great way to stay connected and Javier was always quick to volunteer and help in whatever capacity was needed. We are constantly encouraging teenagers we know to consider HSU. Several students from our church youth group have ended up there. A couple of those kids have played football for Hardin-Simmons, so we have attended games to cheer them on. For several years we have been able to participate in the alumni homemade ice cream social for incoming students. That's been fun, as we've met children of people who were at HSU when we were there." The Sanchezes also recently returned from traveling to Alaska, hosted by Eric and Elise Bruntmyer and the HSU Traveling Range Riders, a program that is dedicated to giving travelers enriching cultural experiences to enhance lifelong education while strengthening their connection with each other and Hardin-Simmons University.
The Sanchezes give to HSU because, as they say, "whether it be a small or large amount, it is an investment in the future and its impact is far reaching. HSU students go out all over the United States and our world. Our support of HSU is in turn carried throughout the U.S. and the world by these students as we invest in them and the programs that HSU offers. When we invest in HSU, we enable the PT and PA students to go out and help those in need physically and spiritually. When we invest in HSU, children with learning disabilities in Abilene and the surrounding areas have their needs met through the Houston-Lantrip Center for Literacy and Learning. When we invest in HSU, we're participating in the training of future pastors and church leaders."
As Javier insists, "I don't know that we will ever truly know the impact that our support of HSU will have or how far it will reach, but we do believe that God will honor our gifts as we support an institution that we believe is seeking to further the message of the gospel in everything it does."
You, too, can make a meaningful impact on Hardin-Simmons by making a future gift to support our students. Contact Mike Hammack or one of our development officers at firstname.lastname@example.org or (325) 670-1260 to learn about your giving options.