Why I Give: Martha (Austin) Gafford '44
By Martha (Austin) Gafford '44
One of 15 children, my mother, Katie Foy Austin, entered what was then Simmons College in 1915. All of her siblings attended college, several of them at Simmons. I also had an uncle who served on the board. The family connection was quite strong by the time I entered Hardin-Simmons University in 1941.
While my experience at HSU was very positive, my reason to financially support the school had nothing to do with me. I wanted to do something special to honor my mother and her teaching career.
A Lifelong Advocate for Education
An elementary school English teacher for 26 years, my mother was beloved by her students. Almost every time the two of us went somewhere together, one of her former pupils would approach us and tell her that she was his or her favorite teacher. I was so touched that it made tears come to my eyes. Mother obviously had quite an influence on her students.
A lady in every way, Mother was a stickler for proper grammar and was very good at correcting children in a gentle way. She also instilled a love of learning in her children, her grandchildren, and her students. I was very proud of her.
A Mother's Legacy
On June 22, 1986, my mother's 88th birthday, I established an endowed scholarship in her honor.
It was one of the happiest times of my life. I was very privileged to have a precious mother, and it brought me great joy to honor her in this way. It also pleased her very much. I'm so glad that I took this step while Mother was alive to know what I had done. She died 18 months later, but her legacy lives on through the Katie Foy Austin Endowed Scholarship.
I've made additional gifts to Mother's scholarship through the years, and I always think of how she positively impacted the lives of so many young people as I make my contribution to honor hers. It's a tremendous blessing to know that for generations to come, students who will become teachers will continue to benefit from my mother's scholarship.
Honor a Loved One
Contact Mike Hammack or one of our development officers at (325) 670-1260 or firstname.lastname@example.org today to learn ways you can plan a gift to support Hardin-Simmons University and ensure that students who want a Christian higher education can receive it.