Crowsons Create Scholarship Opportunities with Gift from Their Will

The Goin’ Band from Raiderland means a lot to Andy and Nan Crowson.

It’s where they met as freshmen in 1977 — even if Andy had to break his rule about dating women in the band.

That’s why the couple made a gift from their will to support three scholarship endowments at Texas Tech University:

  • one for a non-music major member of the Goin’ Band;
  • the second for a student-athlete with at least a 3.0 grade point average;
  • and one for a student whose hometown is within 200 miles of Lubbock, Texas.

“We’ve been blessed. It’s our turn to give. It’s time to help other people.”

Nan CrowsonTexas Tech University graduate

The athletic scholarship is simply because they’re big Red Raider fans.

“Athletics is fun and important. We’re season ticket holders to football. We’d be season ticket holders for basketball if we lived closer,” said Andy.

The scholarship for a student from West Texas reflects their roots.

Nan grew up in Brownfield, and Andy came to Texas Tech from Odessa.

“Nan and I felt strong about education for young folks in the region. Texas Tech has a mission for people in that part of the world,” he said.

About gifts from wills

Nathan Rice, director of gift planning for the Texas Tech University System, said willed gifts, like the Crowsons have established, are the most common estate gifts that donors make.

“Gifts from wills are the most impactful and significant gifts we see, and they can support whatever you are most passionate about,” he said. “We receive gifts that fund student scholarships, faculty endowments, facilities, innovative research — so many incredible ways of making a lasting difference across our universities.”

The most important part of making a gift from a will is to share your plan with Texas Tech to ensure your gift is used exactly as you intend.

Rice added the most important part of making a gift from a will is to share your plan with Texas Tech to ensure your gift is used exactly as you intend. That’s why documenting the gift is a crucial step.

“We want to make sure everything is in place so that the gift can be received according to the donor’s wishes,” he said. “Gifts from wills are easy to document, and our gift planning professionals can provide you with the correct wording for your attorney.”

Once Texas Tech has documented a gift plan, it is recognized like any other gift to one of the system’s universities.

“Gifts from wills also qualify donors for immediate membership in The Matador Society,” Rice said.

Membership in The Matador Society is granted to anyone who shares documentation of their gift plan, regardless of the amount of the gift or the age of the donor. Donors are listed in the society’s membership roll and receive an invitation to an annual gala held on campus.

It all started in the band

Nan was a twirler in the Goin’ Band, and Andy played trumpet.

When they met as freshmen, was it love at first sight?

“No,” said Nan.

“She had another man in her life,” said Andy.

Nan added, “He wouldn’t date band girls.”

Once Nan’s relationship ended, Andy was interested, despite his rule.

“If I ever had a fallout and it was my doing, I wouldn’t have one woman angry with me, I might have 20 to 30 women upset with me,” he said.

But they had a lot in common and had a lot of fun with each other.

So when Andy found out Nan and her boyfriend were no longer together, he didn’t hesitate.

“I made an exception,” he said.

Their life now and giving to Texas Tech

Today, the Crowsons live in Belton, Texas, between Waco and Austin.

Andy has a dental practice after majoring in microbiology in Lubbock.

Nan, who studied physical education at Texas Tech, recently retired from teaching. She taught science in middle school before moving into administration.

When asked why they love their alma mater, Nan shot back, “Why don’t we love Texas Tech? It provided the education that gave us our life. We were raised as Texas Tech fans. It’s home. It does a good job educating kids from the area we still call home, and that’s important.

“We encourage people to be generous with time or money for kids to have the same experiences we have had. We’ve been blessed. It’s our turn to give. It’s time to help other people.”

‘Near and dear to our hearts’

Forty years later, some of the couple’s closest friends are Goin’ Band alumni.

“It’s a great organization and always has been,” said Andy, who marched all four years he was at the university. Nan was a member for three years.

“The first day of band you have more than 300 friends. I never felt homesick. You spend an hour or more each day with them and then get on a bus on a weekend and go to College Station and get home at 4 a.m.,” said Andy.

Nan added, “The first day of band you had a whole family, and they took care of you.”

They occasionally march with the alumni band.

“We were raised as Texas Tech fans.
It’s home. It does a good job educating kids from the area we still call home,
and that’s important.”

Nan CrowsonTexas Tech University graduate

When asked for their favorite Goin’ Band memory, it was hard for the Crowsons to pick one.

“The first drill was the same drill every show,” said Nan about her first performance. “The twirlers would march across the field from the guest side to the press box side. There were more people in the stands than ever lived in Brownfield. It was stunning.”

She had also grown up seeing a color photo of the twirlers each year in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal — back when color photos were rare in newspapers. It was exciting when she got her turn.

Andy enjoyed playing in the Court Jesters at basketball games and, as he put it, some of the goofy things like taking a football from the University of Houston sidelines and sticking it in one of the tuba bells.

“We had so many fun memories,” he said.

But his biggest, eye-opening memory his freshman year also helped guide his career path.

“I came from a good high school music program at Odessa Permian. We were practicing on the parking lot, and I was playing as loud as I can play and couldn’t hear a thing coming out. There was a balding, older man playing trombone behind me and parting my hair with what was coming out of his trombone,” said Andy, who thought the trombonist had served in the military before coming to Texas Tech.

“That’s when I thought I might not be a music major and might be a dentist instead,” he said.

The lifelong friendships and lasting memories are why the couple continues to give to back to their alma mater, providing a chance for a new generation of students to have their own life-changing experiences at Texas Tech University.

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