Jim '75 and Nancy (McNair) Jones '75
By Nancy Jones
While the paths that led Jim and me to Hardin-Simmons University are quite different, we both had wonderful experiences there, and share a deep love for our alma mater.
HSU was a natural choice for me. My parents and several other family members had attended Hardin-Simmons and had positive experiences. At the time I needed to make my choice following high school graduation, my dad, Sherwyn McNair, was teaching journalism at Hardin-Simmons. I had grown up attending HSU athletic and musical events. Knowing that I wanted to major in music, and realizing that HSU's School of Music was one of the finest, it was an easy choice to make. In fact, it didn't even occur to me to apply to any other university!
Jim came to check out HSU because his best friend was going there. Once Jim and his parents visited the campus, they knew it was a very special place. They met with Dr. Talmadge Dean, the Dean of the School of Music, and Mr. Bill Owens, Professor of Brass, and quickly discovered that Jim would get the personal attention he needed at HSU to be successful. His mother told him that if he didn't go to Hardin-Simmons, she just may go herself.
We met at Hardin-Simmons, formed lasting friendships with others, and for the last 12 years, Jim has worked for the university. The education we received at HSU was excellent and prepared us for our chosen careers. Both our children—and their spouses—graduated from HSU.
Having served on the HSU Alumni Board for the past seven years, I have been reminded constantly that when major foundations or institutions consider donations to HSU, one of the first things they look at is the percentage of alumni who contribute—not considering how much they give, but that they give. We like the idea of being in the group that gives back to this school that played such a big part in our personal and professional development.
As an employee, Jim is keenly aware that HSU doesn't receive any help from the state or federal government—and that tuition alone can't possibly sustain the school. The university relies on its alumni and friends to help provide scholarships and programs for current students.
Giving to HSU comes easily. We're not financially wealthy by any means, but we do believe that God will bless and multiply anything that we are able to give. We have our fingers in many pieces of the pie at HSU, so we give a little to several different areas—never one huge gift, but we know that a lot of small gifts added together can make a difference. We like to think that we are paving the way for future students, perhaps our own grandchildren, to attend this university. We're very pleased that all three generations of our family who attended HSU also support it.
It's easy to support something you believe in—something that produces a quality product. HSU alumni are respected all over the world, in all professions, and in all walks of life. We're proud to be alumni, and we want the traditions of excellence to continue for future generations. We're delighted and proud to have a small part in making that happen.
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