Why We Give: Dr. Ron '84 and Cindy (McGee) Blevins '86
By Cindy Blevins
We met through a mutual acquaintance at HSU initially, but had our first real time together in Taos, New Mexico. We were on a ski trip for PE credit. We stayed in Red River, but because there wasn't enough snow to ski there, we went to Taos and back every day by bus. One day, I had fallen while skiing and hit my head. I decided I had enough skiing for one day!
As I sat in the ski lodge lobby waiting for the bus (which wouldn't come for hours), Ron saw me and invited me to ski with him. I was a novice skier, and he was quite advanced. He offered to teach me to ski. He was incredibly patient with me. By the end of the day, I became quite impressed with him.
As enamored as I was with Ron, we didn't start dating until the following fall. One of our outings was a double date to a Dino piano concert. A pianist himself, Ron used musical jargon such as arpeggio and fortissimo, which didn't impress me…until he played the piano for me, and I realized he is a very gifted musician. All I could say was "Wow."
I majored in elementary education and minored in biology because Dr. George Newman was such an amazing professor! Because of the excellent preparation I had in Dr. Newman's classes, everywhere I taught, I had the best science center in the school. I also had a class with a new professor named Dr. Larry McGraw, and he was incredible. Ron's favorite professors were his piano professors: Dr. Thurman Morrison, Evelyn Edmonds, and Jill Trudgeon. They each had unique skills and teaching abilities.
Ron has been in the ministry for more than 35 years. Although he has never been a youth minister by title, the two of us have been very involved working with students since we married.
We estimate more than 100 students have attended HSU because we brought them to tour the campus, or we encouraged them to visit. We've been at this so long now, we have current HSU students attending whose parents we helped recruit! We don't have any children of our own, but we love being involved with HSU students. We especially enjoy making connections with students whose families are far away and becoming a "home away from home" for them.
We always thought recruiting students was important, but we didn't realize how important it is to give until Ron served as a Trustee. The percentage of alumni who give is an important measure of the satisfaction of one's education—and it isn't about how much you give, it's about giving. We both wish we had realized that long ago.