Dyne Hilbrich Macha ’70 and her husband Mike have established the Bernadyne Hilbrich and J. Michael Macha TLU Endowed Scholarship for students majoring in English or Communication Studies. The scholarship aims to support students who excel in coursework, engage in critical thinking, and seek truth in their academic inquiries.
During her time at TLU, Dyne benefited from several similar small scholarships as well as from part-time jobs in the Admissions Office and the English Department. These recurring scholarships and jobs, together with steady parental contributions and relentless study, led to a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in Speech Communication.
“My degree opened doors for graduate study, my Ph.D., editing and writing stints, and teaching positions at several universities,” she said. “Looking back, I now see that the many rich experiences I enjoyed as a TLU student set me on a path to success, to a lifetime of learning, and to the pleasures of marriage, parenting, and grandparenting. TLU enhanced the quality of my life. Even today, the stories and poems I share with our six-year-old grandson Byron are ones I first studied at TLU.”
Now, 50 years later, the couple wants to give back to the school that nurtured Dyne’s personal and professional development.
“Retirement has given us time to look back and see that the values driving our careers—hard work, excellence, honesty, service—align with the values taught at TLU,” she said. “We believe that this endowment not only validates our life’s work but extends our mission to serve others using the gifts God has allowed us beyond our brief time on earth.”
The couple hopes that this endowment helps at least one struggling student each semester, buoying their spirits to stay committed to the goal of attaining a degree in the face of all obstacles. The endowment also honors Dyne’s parents, Eppie and Irene Hilbrich of Westhoff, who instilled in their three daughters a love of the Christian faith, excellence in education, and the virtue of hard work.
“Their unrelenting work and constant saving allowed us to enroll at TLU as first-generation college students,” she said. “My parents believed TLU’s strong academic programs, sound theological foundation, and caring faculty made it a safe, wholesome place for us to study during the tumultuous 1960s.”
Whether recipients of this scholarship ultimately teach in the classroom, manage others in the office, lead in the military, conduct research in the lab, or write new works revealing old truths, the Machas believe that each person has something valuable to share from their time at TLU. They believe that in time, TLU’s mission of service to others will help restore a brighter future to humanity.
“The Christian principles that these students encounter on campus—love, forgiveness, peace, justice—will carry over naturally into their professional lives,” she said. “We hope students benefiting from this endowment will recognize the great worth of a TLU degree and will offer a similar gift to a future student.”