Release Date: Dec. 1, 2008
Doctors of Humane Letters to Steve, Pollyanna Stephens
San Angelo entrepreneurs and civic leaders F.L. “Steve” and Pollyanna Stephens will become the first recipients of honorary degrees from Angelo State University as a member of the Texas Tech University System during commencement exercises Saturday, Dec. 13, on campus.
Doctors of Humane Letters will be conferred upon the Stephenses in recognition of their longstanding support of Angelo State and their many contributions to the community. The couple will be honored in the Junell Center/Stephens Arena during ASU’s 10 a.m. commencement for graduates of the College of Business and College of Education.
Steve Stephens is retired chairman, chief executive officer, and co-founder of Town & Country Food Stores, Inc. He has been recognized nationwide for his contributions to the convenience store industry. Pollyanna Stephens is the retired co-owner, board secretary and director of public relations and special events for Town & Country Food Stores.
From their $1 million gift to make Stephens Arena a glittering university showplace to their support of donations for numerous scholarships, the President’s Circle, the College of Business and ASU Athletics, the Stephenses have demonstrated their commitment to the university and its critical role in the future of San Angelo. Additionally, Pollyanna Stephens served a dozen years on the Board of Regents of the Texas State University System, including a term as chair.
“Our satisfaction comes from the continuing growth and development of this community,” she said. “First our children and now our grandchildren have a wonderful place to grow up and learn to be responsible, caring adults. It is a real pleasure to us to be able to be part of activities that are of value to the community and that have an overall impact on the quality of life here.”
Steve Stephens said, “We have always felt that if we were fortunate enough to earn more than our basic needs required, we had both a duty and a desire to give to those causes that were important to the community. We want our gifts to go primarily to meet local needs so that local people can enjoy and benefit from them. Local people have been our customers and our employees, as well as helping us personally and in raising our children.”
In acknowledging the contributions to Angelo State and the community, Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance said, “It is appropriate that Steve and Pollyanna Stephens should be the recipients of the first honorary degrees awarded by the university as a member of the Texas Tech University System. Over the years, Steve and Pollyanna Stephens have been a successful team in building a thriving business, strengthening their community and understanding the value of Angelo State in the economic development of the region.”
The honorary doctorates are just the latest local honors the Stephenses have received, including being designated “Honorary Alumni” by the ASU Alumni Association and “Citizens of the Year” by the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce.