Dr. Leslie Mayrand, dean of the Archer College, and two of her former nursing students, David Bushnell and Heather McDonald Bushnell, all arrived at Angelo State in 1979. The Bushnells actually met as students in Mayrand’s very first cohort.
“We tell everybody that we fell in love over a dead cat,” Heather said. “We met over a dead cat in the anatomy lab and he had to help me dissect my cat.”
“They were crazy, but that whole class was just wonderful,” Mayrand said. “They obviously had a great impact on me because I went into teaching for 40 years, so they changed my life as much as anything I did for them. I will always remember the Bushnells and that group very fondly.”
“It was amazing to see the strides that had been made in the nursing program, and also the development of the Archer College.”
- David Bushnell
The Bushnells both went on to earn their nursing degrees in 1981 and start successful careers, but they never broke their connection to their alma mater. At their home in the Texas Hill Country, they hosted ASU physical therapy students who were doing clinical rotations in area healthcare facilities. In 2010-11, Heather worked remotely for what was then the College of Nursing and Allied Health, recruiting students from Hill Country high schools and taking them on ASU campus tours. David then returned to ASU for his bachelor’s (2014) and master’s (2015) degrees to be a family nurse practitioner.
“It was amazing to see the strides that had been made in the nursing program, and also the development of the Archer College,” he said. “It’s grown to include kinesiology, psychology and social work. Social work has a doctoral degree, physical therapy is a doctoral degree and clinical psychology is starting a doctoral degree. It really enhances the legitimacy and prestige of Angelo State.”
“So many things are done in memorial of someone, but we wanted to do something in her honor while she is still at ASU.”
- David Bushnell
In recognition of Mayrand’s impact on their lives and the Archer College, the Bushnells gifted ASU $25,000 to establish the Dr. Leslie Mayrand Scholarship Endowment to provide scholarships for graduate students in the college’s degree programs.
“We know some of what Leslie has done to build up both the nursing program and the college,” David said. “So many things are done in memorial of someone, but we wanted to do something in her honor while she is still at ASU.”
“I was raised by my parents to believe that to whom much is given, much is expected,” Heather added. “David and I really work hard to live up to that. It’s very emotional for us to be able to do this for Leslie and ASU.”
“I was raised by my parents to believe that to whom much is given, much is expected. David and I really work hard to live up to that.”
- Heather McDonald Bushnell
In addition to their initial $25,000 gift, the Bushnells also invited other alumni of the Archer College to contribute and pledged to match their gifts. A number of those alumni, including several Archer College faculty members, chipped in to more than double the size of the endowment.
“This is probably the biggest honor I’ve received,” Mayrand said. “I’m so honored and touched by it. What’s also wonderful is that the scholarships can go to any graduate student in the Archer College.”
“David and Heather are both nurses,” she added, “and for them to think enough of the other disciplines in the college and what people go through to complete graduate school, I’m very happy about that. No matter what discipline they’re in, our graduate students are in it to help people. Now we are better able to help them.”
“This is probably the biggest honor I’ve received. I’m so honored and touched by it. What’s also wonderful is that the scholarships can go to any graduate student in the Archer College.”
- Dr. Leslie Mayrand
The first two Mayrand Scholarships were awarded this spring semester to students in the Master of Public Health and Master of Science in counseling psychology degree programs.
“When David went back to ASU to get his nurse practitioner degree and I went back to work fulltime at a hospital, we realized there was a significant need for scholarships for graduate students,” Heather said. “By the time you’re a grad student, you may already have undergrad college debt, you could be married and raising a family, and you just need help. But there isn’t much out there. We want to help graduate students continue their education in the medical fields.”
“We also hope the recipients of the scholarship will see it as an opportunity to start thinking ahead about giving back,” David added. “It’s the way it should be. We’ve all grown through our experiences at ASU and it’s why we’re the people we are today. If we can forge ahead so ASU can continue to grow, it serves the future needs of so many, and that’s what it’s all about.”
“If we can forge ahead so ASU can continue to grow, it serves the future needs of so many, and that’s what it’s all about.”
- David Bushnell