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Donors Generosity Will Leave Behind a Legacy for TLU Football

As part of a planned gift, longtime TLU supporters and alumni Sam ’57 and Judith (Kern) Harper ’58 have designated a charitable bequest for the football program. Married for 63 years, the Harpers have been consistent annual donors since 1961. Mr. Harper attended TLC on a football scholarship and Mrs. Harper, whose father was a Lutheran minister, felt an immediate connection to the campus.

A three-year letterman, Mr. Harper began his athletic career at TLU as a running back and finished as a wide receiver. He’s also part of the well-known Kramer Boys—a group of young men who played for Coach “Colonel” John J. Kramer from 1953 to 1958. As a retired U.S. Army Colonel, Coach Kramer was known for his rigorous approach to practice and training. However, he also had a profound influence on his players physically, professionally, and personally, allowing them to create lifelong bonds. The Kramer Boys still meet every June in Fredericksburg.

Judy and Sam Harper.

After graduating, Mr. Harper coached high school football for 34 years and helped open a golf course upon his retirement in 1991. In 1994, he was recruited to work as waiver officer at the University Interscholastic League (UIL) where he served for 11 years. Mrs. Harper is a former educator and taught at all levels before finishing her career at Austin Community College. They are both active members of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Austin and have a passion for travel, having been to every continent except Antarctica.

After a successful career as a college athlete and coach, Mr. Harper still credits TLU for his triumphs both on and off the field. This ultimately led the couple to bestow a gift to the university in their will.

“If it hadn’t been for TLU Football, I probably would have never gone to college,” he said. “I received a great education from a place where I was able to also develop physically, mentally, and morally. We both feel we owe the institution something back.”

The Harpers’ generosity is a planned gift through a charitable bequest in their will. This is one of the easiest ways to leave a legacy. By including a bequest to TLU in your will or living trust, you are ensuring the university can continue its mission for years to come. A bequest can be a specific dollar amount or asset, a percentage of your estate, or from the balance or residue of your estate.

To learn more about naming TLU in your will, please contact the Office of Development and Alumni Relations or visit