When George Lowrance Hodge attended Southern Arkansas University (SSC) in 1952, he received a $25 per semester scholarship because he had been the salutatorian of his Lewisville High School graduating class. That small scholarship really helped with school expenses, and he remembers students who did not have assistance and had to work hard in the cafeteria, bookstore or other jobs to earn enough to attend college.
Although he spent only a year at SAU, the tight-knit atmosphere left a positive impression on him. ”SAU gave me an excellent educational foundation and was a bridge between high school and university life. I had excellent instructors,” Lowrance Hodge said.
So, he and his wife, Marilyn Hodge, of Dallas, Texas decided to honor SAU with an endowment for a pre-engineering scholarship. “I knew students who had a hard time paying for their education. If a scholarship can help someone get their engineering degree a little quicker or with less financial stress, then that is what we would like to have it do.”
After leaving SAU, Lowrance Hodge attended the University of Texas on an NROTC scholarship, and after his sophomore year there, served four years on active duty as a pilot in the U.S. Navy. With the military experience under his belt, he was eligible for the G.I. Bill and finished his undergraduate Industrial Engineering degree at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He later went on to receive his master’s degree from Oklahoma State University.
Lowrance Hodge retired in 1997 as a senior vice president of Mary Kay Inc. in Dallas. Since then he keeps active by volunteering for an organization called the Service Corp of Retired Executives (SCORE), a group sponsored by the Small Business Association. This organization provides free counseling to people who are trying to establish or improve a new business.
As for knowing someone as famous as Mary Kay, who made pink Cadillacs synonymous with cosmetics, Lowrance said she definitely lived up to her stellar reputation and had a gift for communicating with people. “She was a super lady, one of those few people that regardless of the circumstances, made you feel as though you were the most important person in the world to her.”