When did you attend Temple College?

September 1966 through May 1968

What made you decide to go to Temple College?

All of my high school friends were going to Temple College (then called Temple Junior College) right after high school. It was just the natural step after graduating from Temple High. The tuition was cheaper than four-year colleges, and I had a scholarship that paid for my freshman year. I could live at home to save money while taking my basics.

What were your first impressions of Temple College?

TJC looked huge to me although everything I needed was in the Instructional Services Center (ISC), even the gym. All of the faculty had tables set up in the gym, and students took their schedule cards of what classes they wanted and at what time and walked by each table to get a look at possible faculty choices to see if the classes they taught fit the individual student’s desired time frame. Most of us took classes in the mornings and had part-time jobs in the afternoons.

How did attending Temple College impact you?

I loved every single minute of being a TJC student. I was extremely shy when I started as a freshman right out of high school. My speech teacher, Ray Richey, somehow helped me overcome my shyness and become a totally different person. I joined almost every student club and quickly became an officer in most of them. I loved taking on the responsibilities and meeting new people from surrounding towns who came to the club meetings. I learned to speak in front of groups of people I did not know, and I found that I could now do this without trembling. I became friends with all of my teachers and even with teachers I did not have, such as Mary Alice Marshall, an icon in TJC history. I couldn’t sing at all and was never in her choir, but for some reason we became close personal friends until her death at the age of 104. But the person who truly impacted my life was the president, Dr. Hubert M. Dawson. He walked the hallways between classes and literally talked to everyone he passed and soon learned all of our names. For some reason, he always sought me out and asked how my day and life at TJC was going. He would invite me into his office to just vent if I needed to cry. He believed in me and told me I was going to make a difference in the lives of people I would encounter in the coming years. He made sure I got a scholarship to attend Mary Hardin-Baylor College (now the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor) to study to become an elementary school teacher. I did that for only one year because I just felt like I wanted something more. I worked the next 15 years at Temple 4-C and did administrative paperwork and helped the pre-school teachers with lesson plans, discipline issues, etc. I loved this job, but I still wanted more. When I was hired by TJC to work with both the Foundation and the College Communications office, I thought I might have found the dream job I had been seeking, and indeed it was! I have worked for Temple College now for almost 32 years, and I have loved every single minute of being here. I have made priceless friendships with many of the people I have met. I have worked with 5 different presidents of Temple College and made lifelong friendships with each of them. I have learned to take on challenges and do things I never thought I could do. Temple College is like family to me, and it feels like my second home!

  • Linda Barnes