Mexia High School Class of 1959 presented $45,000 to A&M-Commerce in June 2019 to establish an endowed scholarship fund for future Lions from Mexia, Texas. The town of Mexia, population 7,500, is located 150 miles southwest of A&M-Commerce.
The Mexia High School Class of 1959 Scholarship was funded from the bequest of Mexia ’59 graduate Ina Cooper. The scholarship is open to Mexia High School graduates of any age who wish to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree at A&M-Commerce.
For decades, Mexia ’59 alumni have worked tirelessly on behalf of their hometown graduates. To date, the class has established scholarships at Mexia High School, Navarro College and, most recently, A&M-Commerce.
The class members enjoy a close bond as they work toward the common goal of providing educational opportunities for Mexia graduates. “Establishing scholarships has been part of the glue that keeps us together,” said class member Claudia New. “We believe we share a unique connection and a shared passion for education, and we hope to leave a class legacy of giving back to those who follow.”
In the planning stage, the class looked for a high-quality, reliable, affordable, nearby university at which to establish their new endowed scholarship. A&M-Commerce easily met the criteria. “What university could be more reliable than an institution that is more than 100 years old and a part of the A&M System?” said class member and A&M-Commerce alumna Dr. Jan P. Huffstutler. “A&M-Commerce serves the same students whose profiles match the students we want to assist. We knew the university had the infrastructure to reach these students who may need extra support services.”
In response to the recent endowed gift, A&M-Commerce Director of Development for Institutional Advancement, April Carl, expressed gratitude on behalf of the university. “We are honored to be a part of the legacy created by the Mexia Class of 1959 and truly appreciate their generosity in giving so others may succeed. These wonderful people truly understand the power in higher education and have created an opportunity for fellow ‘Black Cats’ to fulfill their passions,” Carl said.
Without a doubt, Mexia Class of 1959 is a special group of close-knit philanthropists who are truly making a difference. “We have a passion for helping students pursue a college education,” class member Ann Pendleton said. “Our ultimate goal is to assist Mexia High School students, who cannot afford to leave the area, obtain bachelor’s or master’s degrees.”