Shannan '01 and Kellie (Brown) '02 Goss
When did you attend HSU?
Why did you choose HSU?
Shannan: My older brother, Raymond Harpster '99, attended Hardin-Simmons, so naturally I thought I would go somewhere else. But, after visiting the campus and feeling the Christ-centered atmosphere, I knew it was the place for me.
Kellie: My older brother, Adam Brown '99, also attended HSU. He learned about the University from our then youth ministers, Terry '91 and Shelli (Marlin) '91 Anderson. Kind of like Shannan, I just knew it was a fit after visiting campus—the faith-filled environment plus the personal nature of the campus drew me. Also, yay for purple and yellow flowers around the campus!
Who were your most memorable teachers and mentors?
Shannan: I really admired and respected so many people on campus, but some of them really stand out to me. Dr. Lawrence Clayton, legendary English professor, suggested my career path. Dr. Paul Madden brought history to life with no more than a note card to assist with his lectures. And finally, HSU President at the time, Dr. Lanny Hall, and then Dean of Students, Linda Carleton, were so kind in letting me work through all sorts of Student Congress ideas.
Kellie: Dr. Renee Collins, professor of education, only assigned work that she would do alongside us. She commented in the first class I took from her that if an assignment was worth giving to us, it should also be worth her own time doing it. One of the key concepts I remember learning from her was "kid observing." This was formative in my teaching and in my parenting. Knowing who your kiddos are and what makes them tick as individuals is crucial in teaching and parenting, not to mention the relational depth that comes from actually knowing your children and students.
What is a favorite story or memory of HSU from your time there?
We of course have great memories of times with friends, Saturday football games, and great conversations with professors who took a genuine interest in their students. I (Kellie) fondly recall stopping by Dr. Clayton's office regularly to simply chat. I have no doubt he had a lengthy to do list, but he never failed to lay aside whatever had his attention to sit and chat with me.
Another favorite memory was my time working for Dr. Teresia Taylor in the language department and the Spanish lab. She invited us over for meals and hang out time during the semester. I will also never forget the day when she had locked herself out of her office, and we borrowed a screwdriver to remove the vent from her door so I could crawl through and unlock it. I should have gotten a raise, but apparently the powers that be didn't agree.
Why did you choose to give back to HSU?
We first met in Dr. Taylor's Spanish class, and shared a number of Spanish classes after that at HSU. (Note: I, Kellie, made better grades than Shannan.) In fact, Dr. Taylor let Shannan turn in a paper late the night we got engaged and only docked him five points. Shannan says she shouldn't have docked him at all, but I said it was gracious to only dock him the five points. Dr. Taylor was dedicated to her field!
We've given financially on a number of occasions, but when Dr. Taylor's cancer returned, we felt compelled to do something special to honor her contributions to the University. We were able to create a scholarship in her name for students who participate in study abroad programs or who are pursing the study of foreign languages.
We've always loved HSU and felt a need to give back. Having received scholarships that helped make our time there more affordable, we wanted to pay that back as much as we could.
What do you think other people should know about giving back to HSU?
It is an honor to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Our experiences at HSU were built on the sacrificial generosity of so many others. We give not because we have won the lottery and have money floating around we couldn't possibly use elsewhere. We give because a spirit of generosity should mark the lives of Believers in Jesus.
Just like Shannan and Kellie, you can create your legacy of generosity with a planned gift. To learn more about the gift options available to you, contact Mike Hammack or one of our development officers at firstname.lastname@example.org or (325) 670-1260.