By Sarah Carlson, Copy Editor
When flowers arrived at their Fort Worth home at the beginning of August, Suzy Jeffrey said her husband, Morton, thought there had been a mistake. The Jeffrey’s anniversary was Aug.1, and she said he thought the gift must have been belated.
“I personally was proud that he remembered our anniversary was Aug 1,” said Suzy Jeffrey jokingly.
The flowers were in fact sent to the Jeffreys to tell them they were chosen as ACU’s 2004 Parents of the Year. They will be awarded a plaque by Dr. Royce Money, president of the university, in Chapel on Sept. 24 with a reception in the Sowell Rotunda in the Biblical Studies Building immediately following.
Samantha Adkins, coordinator of alumni projects, said nine sets of parents were nominated in the spring through two-page essays submitted by their children, and every letter received was good.
“All were wonderful letters,” Adkins said, “and we felt very blessed reading all of them.”
A committee comprised of representatives from around campus read the essays and chose the winner. Members of the committee were Adkins; Jim Holmans, executive assistant to the president; La Shae Sloan, director of Student Multicultural Enrichment and Student Services; and Jana and Mark Hanner, co-presidents of Wildcat Parents.
Andy Jeffrey, senior integrated marketing and communication major from Fort Worth, along with his two sisters and brother, all ACU alumni, nominated his parents.
“They’ve done so much for me, I’m always looking for ways I can bless them and give them honor,” Jeffrey said. “I saw the flyer I just knew it was something my parents would be eligible for.”
Jeffrey’s wrote of the love his parents have always shown him and his friends at ACU, as well as their spiritual guidance and encouragement.
“They have always modeled God’s unconditional love for his children,” Jeffrey said in his letter. “At no point in my twenty-one years have I ever doubted their love.”
Sam Jeffrey, ’00, Becky (Jeffrey) Brooks, ’96, and Kelly (Jeffrey) Vaughn, ’92 wrote of being rocked to sleep as children to “O Dear Christian College” and learning of the mission of ACU early on in life.
“The encouragement that I received from my parents taught me an incredible lesson, that ACU would reinforce later on in life, that the only boundary to what I could accomplish in life was the extent to which I allow God to work through me,” Sam Jeffrey said in his letter.
Suzy Jeffrey said it was not only an honor to be chosen as Parents of the Year, but to have had all her children nominate her and her husband.
“At first it was just an incredible honor just to hear about it,” Suzy Jeffrey said, “and then it was a couple of days later when we got to read what they had sent…and that was just a really humbling thing to read. If nothing else in life happens, just reading what they wrote was an honor, an honor for my husband and I both.”
Suzy Jeffrey was in Benin, West Africa where her daughter Kelly is a missionary. She was speaking at a conference or renewals for women missionaries called “Come Before Winter.”
She has taught classes at Lectureship and been a guest speaker in one of Dr. Jeanene Reese’s ministry classes for women.
Parents do not have to be ACU alumni to be nominated for Parents of the Year, Adkins said. She said the parents need to demonstrate support for the children and the university, and that does not necessarily mean financially.
Morton and Suzy Jeffery have attended Homecoming and Sing Song for decades and, Suzy Jeffrey said they plan to attend in the future after Andy Jeffrey graduates.
“One of the joys of it is we now have five grandchildren and another one on the way,” Suzy Jeffrey said.
“One of the joys would be coming and watching them in Freshman Follies and watching them in Sing Song.”