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Why We Give: Dr. Loyd and Brenda Hawthorne

Hawthorne Family

Hawthornes pictured with scholarship recipient Maddison Schwarz

While neither Loyd nor Brenda Hawthorne attended Hardin-Simmons University, their love for the institution is as strong as that of the most loyal alumni. With a career spanning 33 years at HSU, Dr. Loyd Hawthorne touched the lives of thousands of students as Choral Conductor and Dean of the School of Music. While Brenda Hawthorne was busy with her own career as an elementary school teacher, as well as raising two children, she spent countless hours with HSU students through more than three decades.

Upon Loyd’s retirement in 2007, family and friends surprised the Hawthornes by establishing an endowed scholarship in their honor. Loyd is quick to note that the scholarship is in both their names for a good reason. If not for Brenda’s support, encouragement and active participation, he would not have enjoyed such a long and fulfilling career.

While many former students owe a debt of gratitude to the Hawthornes, Brenda says that she appreciates Loyd’s former students because they made him very happy with their singing and actively participating in choral activities.

Dr. Hawthorne relates, “Working at HSU opened doors that I never dreamed would open, especially the opportunity for international travel and conducting distinguished choirs. Now we want to open doors for others, and that is one reason why we give.” Brenda adds, “There were others who came before us and paved the way. We want to do what we can to help make the way a little easier for others.”

Loyd and Brenda both note that many of the students they came to know and love through more than 30 years at Hardin-Simmons were there because of scholarships they received. They give regularly to their endowed scholarship because they know how much students need help. Their daughter Karen, who attended HSU from 1982-1984, was the driving force behind establishing the scholarship and has also continued to support it annually. Since the scholarship is endowed, students will continue to benefit in perpetuity.

The Hawthornes encourage HSU music alumni to give to scholarships that benefit music students today and also in the future. There are dozens of existing endowed scholarships for music majors – or you just might want to establish your own.

If you would like to make a difference for future Hardin-Simmons students like the Hawthornes have, please contact Eric Bruntmyer, President, or one of our development officers at (325) 670-1260 or to get started.

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