Alumni Association names two honorary members
The UMHB Alumni Association has named Norman Niesen and Jack Phelps honorary alumni. Honorary membership is given to individuals who, although not graduates of the University, exhibit love and loyalty to the school in various ways.
Norman Niesen’s wife, Dorothy
“Lane” Niesen, received her degree from UMHB in 1948. They met while Dorothy was in school at UMHB, and Norman was a soldier at Fort Hood. Just prior to graduation, Norman proposed to Dorothy on the steps of Stribling Hall, where he had sat with her many times before curfew. Norman and Dorothy have two children and four grandchildren. Dorothy had a 35-year career as an educator in Texas. She retired from the Fort Worth ISD in the 1990s and passed away in 2011. Norman believes in the mission of UMHB and remembers how Dorothy struggled to repay a $1,000 college loan she had after graduation. Norman hopes that, through his gifts to scholarships and new facilities, he will be able to help young students during their college years. Norman never misses a Crusader football game or event on campus, and he says he feels closest to memories of Dorothy when he is at UMHB.
Jack Phelps recently retired from Crestview Baptist Church in Georgetown, where he served as Associate Pastor since 2001. Prior to his call to the ministry, Jack worked in retail as Senior Vice President of CompUSA Inc. and Vice President of Operations at Eckerd Drugs. He is beginning his ninth year of service on the Board of Trustees at UMHB, where he is chair of the academic affairs committee. Jack and his wife, Karen, have two grown children. Jack’s love for Mary Hardin-Baylor begins with the school’s mission and vision, and he says his hope for UMHB students is that they graduate and build lives that represent the Christian values of the university. He is an avid UMHB Crusader football fan and can be found loudly cheering on the team for another “Crusader First Down.”
The Alumni Association recognized Norman and Jack as official members of the UMHB Alumni family at halftime of the Homecoming football game on October 22, 2016.