Dr. Stuart Dorsey and Russ Rinn marching into December's graduation ceremony at TLU. Photo by Tony Grandinetti
(Seguin) -- As the 2019 spring semester kicks off at Texas Lutheran University so do the plans of success and hope for all of its future students. Much of that security in the future comes after last month's special surprise for TLU President Stuart Dorsey and his wife Michelle. The couple during TLU's graduation ceremony was surprised with a $50,000 endowed scholarship established in their name. The other half of the surprise is that it was presented and made possible by TLU alumnus and Seguin native Russ Rinn.
Dr. Dorsey says he and Michelle were completely surprised by the gift and look forward to sharing it with future students.
"In fact, I had just introduced Russ Rinn to deliver our commencement speech and he was kind enough to accept and do our commencement speech. So, he simply started it off by making an announcement and neither Michelle nor I had any inkling of what was to come so it was a complete surprise to us. So, I guess my first reaction was we were just stunned at Russ's generosity -- Russ and Dacia -- and then our next thought was it means that much more because we have so much respect for Russ Rinn and all that he has done for Texas Lutheran down through the years so not just the fact that they made the scholarship gift in our name but that it means that he affirms the kind of job we are doing here," said Dorsey.
The gift comes after news of Dr. Dorsey's retirement. After several years of serving as its president, Dr. Dorsey will say good-bye to the campus at the end of this school year.
Dr. Dorsey says what is most humbling is the fact that the gift was presented by Rinn and his family.
"Russ and his wife, Dacia Rinn, are both graduates of Texas Lutheran College back in 1980 and Russ grew up in Seguin. He played quarterback for the Bulldogs and then he worked for CMC Metals here for a long time. He is in Fort Wayne, Indiana now as a president and CEO of a metals recycling company up there. But he has been on the board of regents since 2008 and he was actually on the search committee that led to my hiring back in 2011. He has continued to serve on the board as a very influential voice since that time. In fact, he is on the search committee to find my successor now here at Texas Lutheran so he's been very actively engaged and his family has been very generous to Texas Lutheran down through the years as this is just a continuation of their great support," said Dorsey.
As for establishing the endowed scholarship, Rinn says the Dorseys are the perfect recipients for such a legacy gift.
"First of all, we were part of watching the birth of the Dorsey regime that came into (life) when he first started. I know he and Michelle have put in countless hours and worked their tails off to be successful at Texas Lutheran University and I think they have done a tremendous job. They've energized the campus. They have engaged in their community. They have done all the things that I think anyone of us would have hoped that he would do and that he and she would do because they are a team. I think it's just an honor and gratitude for the service of both of them over the past seven, eight years that he's been at Texas Lutheran. It has just been tremendous to watch. The engagement, the student body excitement and participation -- that he has done on the campus and off the campus. Certainly, the buildings and the projects have advanced at the campus in a way that it hasn't been done in years if not decades," said Rinn.
Dr. Dorsey says leaving the campus will no doubt be very difficult. However, he hopes this gift will allow him to still make an impact in the lives of others.
"In addition to meaning a lot coming from Russ and Dacia, the impact that it has goes directly to students and to allow students to be able to afford to come here and that's the most important thing. So, when we are doing fundraising, when we are asking people to give to TLU -- buildings are important and programs are important but certainly, number one is to be able to build up our scholarship endowment so that students can afford to come here because without that affordability, without keeping TLU affordable, it is not going to be a very good future for TLU so fortunately, we have had a lot of success over the last few years building that scholarship endowment and so this means so much to the future of TLU students and we love those kids and why that means so much more to us," said Dorsey.
Those who also wish to honor others with such a scholarship means are asked to contact TLU. Those wishing to make a donation and support the Dorsey scholarship are encouraged to contact his office. All gifts are tax-deductible. TLU can be contacted by calling 830-372-8000.