Jerry ’67 and Lyn (Middleton) ’63x Phillips
By Jerry A. Phillips
I often wonder where we would be if it weren't for Hardin-Simmons University.
Lyn and I met on campus, though she met my mother first—at her sister's wedding. When my mother learned Lyn was a student at HSU, she told her I also attended HSU. The next week, Lyn was punching meal tickets in the cafeteria when I came through the line. She recognized my name from talking with my mother and introduced herself…then she repeated my mother's message, “CALL HOME!!!”
Lyn and I learned we grew up a short distance from each other, so she asked me one day if I would give her a ride the next time I went home. After that, we started dating, and we were married in August 1963. Since Lyn's grades were much better than mine, I quit school to work to put her through school.
We relocated for my job, then Lyn went back to school, finishing her degree at a large state school. The quality of education she received at HSU was much better than that at the state university. Lyn was an education major, and Hardin-Simmons prepared her for the classroom much more her first two years than the state university did her last two years. After she graduated, I returned to HSU to finish my BBA degree in 1967.
In 1982, we returned to Abilene when I accepted the position of Vice President/CFO of the West Texas Rehabilitation Center. Due to job requirements, we still didn't become involved with HSU, other than making occasional gifts. In 1990, I was asked to join the board of the Academic Foundation. By then, we were giving to the university annually. Now I'm serving as a Trustee for the second time, and we continue to increase our giving as we see the need. Even though we have since moved to Lubbock, we attend as many events on campus as we can, and we enjoy every minute of it.
It took me too long to realize that if it weren't for the education I received at Hardin-Simmons, I wouldn't have had the opportunities I've had through the years. HSU gave me the basis on which to build a solid career and a good life, but the best part was meeting Lyn.