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Tom '65 and Mary Jane (Horton) '65 Womble

Tom and Mary Jane Womble

Why did you attend HSU?

Tom: I went to Hardin-Simmons because a friend's mother told me I was supposed to go there. So, I went. It looked like we came over in covered wagons, but we didn't. It was just an old, old car all the way from the Texas Panhandle.

Mary Jane: I grew up on a farm in Merkel, Texas, which is just about 20 miles west of Abilene. My mother graduated from HSU in 1933, and I had a brother who graduated in 1959. I was in sixth grade when he went off to college, so my legacy and reason for going is because that is all I heard about my whole life.

Once I got there as a student, I appreciated the professors and the size of the University. I liked that HSU was small enough for the professors to know who you were, and they cared about you.

How did you two meet at HSU?

Mary Jane: The first time I saw Tom Womble, he didn't know me. I was hiding in the back row of a sophomore English class. My best friend and I were sitting back there in our freshmen beanie caps, surrounded by sophomores, because we had taken freshman English that summer.

Tom: We didn't start dating until our senior year. I was a regular fourth-year senior, and she was a third-year senior. We have some nice memories from that time.

What are your favorite memories from Hardin-Simmons?

Tom: I think the best memories I have are of the friends and professors I got to meet. There was an open feeling on campus, and everyone seemed to feel like you could visit and get to know anyone. The professors wanted us to learn their subject, but also wanted us to learn about life.

Why do you give to HSU?

Tom: If I hadn't attended HSU, I would never have met Mary Jane. Every good thing that has happened to me is because of her. I can't emphasize that enough. I get unapologetically emotional talking about it. If it weren't for Hardin-Simmons, I wouldn't have met her.

Our life together began at Hardin-Simmons. A full life of adventure and success followed. We can't out-give what HSU gave to us.

Would you like to show your appreciation for the ways HSU changed your life? Contact Eric Bruntmyer, President, or one of our development officers at or (325) 670-1260 to learn how a planned gift can make a last impact.

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