Today@Sam Article

Supporting First-Gen Students

Nov. 23, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti

Buddy & Jennie HollisHigh school sweethearts, Jennie and Glendon M. “Buddy” Hollis were newlywed Bearkats when they started college. Jennie ('63) earned her bachelor's in elementary education and Buddy ('64), a bachelor's in business administration. 

After graduation, the couple returned to their Jasper, Texas roots to raise children and build their careers. Buddy continued Hollis Tire Company, the family-owned business established by his father and served as a volunteer with the local fire department. Jennie devoted a career to education as an elementary teacher and ISD administrator for 31 years.

Both first-generation students (meaning the first in their family to attend college), Jennie and Buddy understand first-hand the challenges of obtaining a degree with minimal support. They also adamantly believe in the power of education and made sure their own children not only completed undergraduate degrees, but also doctorates.

In honor of their own first-gen journey to Sam Houston State and the fond memories they created together as students, along with a guiding belief that education is the foundation for a lifetime of success, he couple recently established the Jennie M. Hollis Scholarship Endowment. The gift ensures that others are able to pursue their dreams and goals, just as they and their children have. It also helps continue the growth of creating and supporting future educators.

The endowment earnings will provide one (or more) four-year scholarship awards annually, at a minimum of $8,000 each, to undergraduate first-generation students majoring in education with the intention to teach in levels K-6.

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