Jennifer Doan didn’t just convince thousands of students to take a selfie in opening Chapel, but inspired young women with her tales of being a successful business woman.
Doan met with a small group of female students the afternoon of the opening ceremony and offered advice and insight to what it takes to be a woman and a successful partner at a law firm.
Doan started the meeting by asking each guest to state their hometowns and majors and a story that they really “nailed something.”
“As women sometimes we’re hesitant to say ‘I do this well,'” Doan said. “There’s no reason we should be shy about that becoming comfortable with who we are in our own skin.”
Doan emphasized the importance of being confident in yourself and being strong in faith.
“Being a Christian and being assertive could be an issue for some women,” Doan said. “So, I spoke a little about the importance of having grace, but being assertive.”
Lea Watkins, assistant to the vice president, organized the small event after Dr. Gary McCaleb, vice president of the university, invited her to come speak.
“She’s a very confident woman who I can tell is trying to encourage other women to have that confidence in themselves,” said Lea Watkins, assistant to the vice president.
Watkins contacted women in Lynay, the on-campus scholarship program, a week before class started to set up the meeting.
“Generally, when we have a guest like that on campus, we try to make them available to students if that’s possible,” she said. “One of the ways we find that it’s easy to facilitate doing that is through the Lynay group.”
When Doan accepted the request, she was eager to talk and answer any questions about being a woman in business, Watkins said.
Doan met with the small group in the Hunter Welcome Center and discussed her family, spirituality and career.
“First, she went around the room and had everyone introduce themselves and tell one story about themselves that they had really nailed it in their lifetime.” Watkins said. “I just thought it was really cool that she wanted the students to put some thought into something that they did really well.”
Doan’s main focus was on how she became successful while balancing her family and religion.
“She’s a very family-oriented woman and she talked about how she manages family life with a busy law practice,” Watkins said. “Law is sometimes sort of one of those areas that conflicts with spirituality, so she talked about how she merges those two things in her life.”
Doan encouraged the students she met and left quite the impression.
“We didn’t know who the surprise guest was, but as soon as saw her, I knew who it was,” said Mabree Moore, sophomore elementary education major from Brownwood. “She was wearing the same little outfit from chapel and she was just as bubbly in person.”
She was confident and outspoken and encouraged the group to be confident in their own shoes, Moore said.
“She’s really good at what she does,” she said. “I want to be a teacher, so I don’t have extremely high goals or expectations for my life, but it was just like a little confidence boost and she made me think even if I wanted to do something other than education, I could totally do it if I set my mind to it.”
Her personality was just as big as her accomplishments, making her the perfect example of an empowered woman.
Doan graduated from ACU in 1986, but not without leaving behind a legacy. Doan was the first female president of the Students’ Association and was a cofounder of the first Welcome Week in 1984. Now, Doan is a partner at Haltom & Doan Trial and Appellate Counsel.
With a “girls rule” attitude, Doan had something to say that resonated with the group.
“I really enjoyed it, Doan said. “The group I met with was very bright and very smart. If I’m able to give just one person the courage to do something great, it’ll all be worth it.”