April 10, 2001

4/10/01 Denton TX

WOW!!! It's been several very packed days here in Texas. On Sunday, I finally met Dr Brenda Phillips face-to-face, along with her husband. During a good Mexican dinner, she went over out schedule for my time here on campus.

Brenda has been my angel here at Texas Woman's University. It was probably two years ago that I contacted her about doing a fund-raiser for my cousin Nancy's memorial fund. She has been tireless in her work here on my behalf and has been a strong shoulder to lean on when things didn't go as planned for me. I just couldn't have done any of this without her.

Oh, did I tell you she is a whirlwind of enthusiasm and planning. She took the trouble to fill my 'dance card' these few days to get the word out about the ride. Yesterday and today I spoke with six or seven classes, including a women's studies class of 50 students, with reporters present from the TWU Lasso and the Denton Record-Chronicle, a representative from the campus bicycle police, along with Nancy's husband, Doug Coyle, and her mom, Virginia Johnson. And this morning had a class presentation and interview filmed by TWU Television.

After these last two years of planning, the fund-raising part of the trip is starting to generate a lot of interest with the University administration and alumni.

I can't tell you how wonderful the students made me feel. Along with all the questions, many students (and faculty) stopped to personally thank me for all my efforts. That meant a lot.

Women's Studies Grad Students

Another person I was able to finally meet (we had exchanged several emails) was Patricia Stokes, this years Nancy Johnson-Coyle Endowment Scholarship recipient. I'm sure she's a wonderful student, but I was impressed by the rapport she had whe her undergraduate students. If we had more teachers like her, we'd have a nation of students not only learning, but 'wanting' to learn more. Her smile and attitude are infectious. But that's what I'd expect from one of Dr Phillip's graduate students.

Also on the agenda were the Dean, Institutional Advancement, Student Activities, Alumni Relations and practically everyone Dr Phillips knew on campus. Actually, now that the university is becoming more involved, besides Brenda and I, it's all kind of overwhelming. Almost as if I'll have a hero's welcome when I reach DENTON this fall. That's kind of scary, that all these people have so much faith in me.

Everyone has been so gracious and kind. I found out, that at least for my visit here, my cash is no good. I've probably gained some more weight with all the wining-and-dining. I just can't imagine how to thank everyone like Brenda, Patricia, Aunt Virginia, Doug, Dale and Lisa, Doug's parents and all those students. I seem to be getting back more than I'm giving. And I really have Nancy to thank for it all. I know she's smiling down on us.