Donors like Brandi Holsonback ’97 and Hunter Holsonback ’06 truly make a difference in the lives of current Bulldogs through recurring gifts. Whether someone graduated 25 years ago or five months ago, the support of alumni and friends will always assist students in their pursuit of an education.
The Holsonbacks started supporting TLU in 2011 and said the inspiration came from a personal connection to TLU Athletics.
“The first donations we made were to the volleyball program that brought me to the university,” she said. “As a former player and head coach, I understood the way a program’s budget can trans-form from participating to being a competitive force year after year. The critical strength of the schedule and ability to travel enhances the ability to compete at a higher level. As former athletes, we have the ability to enable current athletes to rise through empowering opportunities.”
The Holsonbacks also chose to begin supporting the baseball team when fundraising started for the construction of new bat-ting cages in remembrance of someone Brandi calls an amazing human: Kirby Standley ’96.
“I had the honor and privilege of getting to know Kirby during my time at TLU, and these donations were a small way to allow his legacy to live on,” she said.
Aside from her monthly donations to athletics for several years, the Holsonbacks also decided to make monthly recurring gifts to the Annual Scholarship Fund—a convenient way that allowed the family to continue making a difference for current students. While Brandi attended TLU on a volleyball scholarship—when athletic scholarships were offered before the university transitioned in 1999 from the NAIA to the NCAA Division III—her decision to continue supporting sports programs and scholar-ships is inspired by her own story.
“We choose to give back because as first-generation college graduates, we understand and appreciate how additional funding can open doors, allowing for people to chase their dreams,” she said. “Aside from my monthly donations, we also leveraged the convenience of our company’s matching gift program to stretch the amounts. Through my role on the Development Board, we shifted our donations to the Annual Scholarship Fund after learning more about how it directly impacts prospective students. We still love and support our sports programs, but my personal goal is to help more students attend TLU.”
As to why they have been so involved as alumni and donors, Hunter says not only is this their opportunity to give back to their alma mater, it’s also a way to help the next generation of Bulldogs.
“Giving helps the entire university become a better place,” Brandi said. “We love to give back to the place that educated us both in and out of the classroom, and actually gave me a better life. For me, my volleyball team was my family, and for Hunter, his basketball team was his family. For both of us, our teams competed with and for each other to win at every level. The friendships we have made at TLU are ones that will span our entire lives. Lastly, the professors and the education we received have opened the doors that have driven our careers. TLU has been instrumental in developing both of us as professionals, competitors, and better humans. We encourage and challenge our TLU friends and fellow alumni to find purpose-filled ways to give back to TLU.”