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Alumna Makes TWU a Part of Her Story

Betty Jo Pennington

Betty Jo Pennington

Behind every gift to Texas Woman’s University is a personal story. Hearing the story of alumna Betty Jo Pennington inspires us to leverage our historical strengths and standing as the nation’s largest public university primarily for women, where we are committed to educating a woman, empowering the world.

Betty Jo Pennington loved books and was passionate about her lifelong work as a children’s librarian. She recognized the need to increase growth and progress in the School of Library and Information Studies and through her bequest, will continue to impact her passion for libraries by supporting the programs she believed vitally important to the future of libraries.

Growing up out west on a ranch without electricity or running water, Betty Jo had a rustic and adventurous childhood until her family moved to Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, in her senior year of high school.

As the oldest of five children, and the first in her family to attend college, Betty Jo graduated with a degree in library science from Texas State College for Women (now TWU). She attended TSCW with her sister, Roberta Hudson, who trained to be a nurse.

Betty Jo’s career as a children’s librarian began in Owatonna, Minnesota, but after the first brutally cold winter she answered an ad for a children's librarian in Kailua, Hawaii, on the island of Oahu.

Moving to Hawaii was a life-changing experience when she met a dashing young Naval officer named Jack Pennington, who would become her life partner for over 60 years. They were blessed with five children. After Jack retired from the Navy in the mid-1960s, they settled in Pennington, New Jersey. Betty Jo continued working with her lifelong love of books and children by working as a librarian at Toll Gate Grammar School and volunteering at the local library, school and church.

Through the Betty Jo Hudson Pennington Fund, Betty Jo’s gift provides a lasting legacy that supports TWU students in a number of ways including recruitment of students, student travel, scholarships, research and professional development. Her gift also provides faculty support with scholarship and professional development activities of faculty members to increase multicultural appreciation and global awareness.

Write your own story by planning ahead to ensure your estate plan is a true reflection of your desire to leave a lasting legacy, which will positively impact the future.

Don’t have a will? You’re not alone! Now is a great time to start planning, and please consider leaving a bequest to TWU in your estate plans. If you’ve already included TWU in your will or other estate plans, please let us know so we can thank you. It also helps TWU plan for the future. Contact Shelby Gould at 940-898-3861 or to learn more.