A Note from Don and Pat Jackson '81

Don and Pat JacksonThe invitation read that we were cordially invited to attend the President’s Leadership Circle annual donor appreciation event on Nov. 20 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. We were told we would experience the new Bawcom Student Union from a student’s perspective with behind-the-scenes tours, dinner in the residential dining area, and a private concert by One Voice. What the invitation didn’t say was how we would feel as we experienced all of the grandness of UMHB.

The evening did not disappoint us. The dinner was delicious, the behind-the-scenes tours were delightful, and the dessert party in the McLane Great Hall was beyond words. While all of this was tremendous, this was only a small part of what really touched our hearts that night.

One Voice sang several songs, but one in particular was “Count Your Blessings.” “Count your blessings, name them one by one” brought special meaning to the evening. As Dr. Randy O’Rear made his way to the podium to tell us about UMHB’s growth and its continued success, we were all amazed at what has been accomplished over the years.

At the end of his remarks, Dr. O’Rear introduced Winona Rapose, a student from Round Rock, Texas. He described how he first met Winona and her parents during Welcome Week, and how he learned recently that she might not be able to continue her education at UMHB due to financial issues. He told us, “That just couldn’t happen! We had to find a way to help her.” Dr. O’Rear called Winona to the stage, and there was not a dry eye in the audience after she spoke and thanked all of us—her family—for helping her continue her studies at this college that she loves.

There’s that word “family” once again. I am you, and you are me. Together, we are UMHB.

Dr. O’Rear told us that we are now just a little shy of $300,000 to reach our Momentum campaign goal of $60 million. Together we can all make this happen. Let’s honor what Dr. Randy O’Rear has meant to UMHB, and all of the “Winonas” that will come in the future. Let’s pay it forward and show our pride!

We challenge each member of the President’s Leadership Circle to count your blessings and name them one by one. Then, make this a Christmas to remember for the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor by making a $1,000 donation to the Momentum campaign to put us over the top on our campaign goal. (We guarantee you will not be able to get this song out of your head as you hum it all day, counting your blessings.)

We are writing our check for $1,000. Won’t you please join us?

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