The Archylou and George Dickie Jr. ’46 Memorial Endowed Scholarship honors a couple who championed Texas A&M solidarity in the Shackelford-Stephens-Throckmorton County region starting in the 1950s.
Archylou Dickie herself initiated the endowment April 21 by sending a $20,000 check to the Breckenridge A&M Club and Possum Kingdom Aggies’ 2011 Muster, one of the worldwide annual gatherings that remember Aggies who died the preceding year.
“She was worried that the existing non-endowed scholarship fund named for George would be spent and the scholarship would go away,” said the couple’s cousin, Katie Stavinoha, a 1986 graduate of Texas A&M University. The George Dickie Jr. Scholarship — managed for decades by his close friend Jim Rominger, a Class of 1941 Aggie — has been awarded dozens of times.
In late July, Archylou Dickie’s gift was combined with $4,000 in the existing scholarship fund (held at the university) plus contributions from Breckenridge A&M Club and Possum Kingdom Aggies Muster participants to endow the scholarship through the Texas A&M Foundation. Because it is permanently funded with earnings from its endowment, the new scholarship establishes a lasting legacy for George Dickie Jr., who died in 1992, and Archylou, who died two days after Muster 2011.
|George Dickie '46 holding his son, Chris.|
The endowed scholarship builds on the colorful couple’s longtime generosity to A&M academics.
During the late 1950s, Possum Kingdom Aggies — with support from the Dickies — set up a scholarship fund. “Someone proposed calling it the George Dickie Jr. Memorial Scholarship, to which George replied, ‘Hell, I’m not dead yet,’ ” Stavinoha said.
Dickie left A&M to fight in Germany and Japan during World War II (receiving a Bronze Star and Purple Heart) and returned to finish his degree in agricultural economics. Although polio left him wheelchair-bound in the 1950s, Dickie continued ranching as well as running a lumber and insurance business with Archylou. He also served on the Woodson Independent School District Board of Trustees and in other community organizations.
Archylou Dickie, a former model and member of a dance troupe that entertained World War II soldiers, had attended the University of Texas, “but once she married into an Aggie family, she was an Aggie,” Stavinoha said. “When Archylou missed the 2011 Muster, she pumped me for details about who attended. She so hated missing a party of any kind.”
Stavinoha added that a large portion of the Dickie estate was bequeathed to Texas A&M University to assist Shackelford, Stephens and Throckmorton County students — the same beneficiaries as the endowed memorial scholarship.
That scholarship gives preference to incoming freshman from those counties, and students may keep it for four years if they maintain a 2.5 grade-point average. If more than one student is eligible, the scholarship will go to the candidate with the greatest financial need.
“Shackelford, Throckmorton and Stephens counties are primarily rural, and recipients’ parents typically aren’t wealthy. They’re ranchers, small-business owners and blue-collar workers. The financial-need stipulation takes this into consideration,” explained Donnie Lockhart, a Class of 1976 Aggie who worked with Roger Tonne, Class of 1977, to set up the endowed scholarship. “It’s nice that the Texas A&M Foundation allows you to customize scholarships.”
Lockhart said the club will continue to use Muster contributions to fund additional non-endowed scholarships each year, generally $1,000 apiece for two students who may keep the scholarship up to four years or until graduation.
The Dickie endowment was created as part of Operation Spirit and MindSM an ongoing scholarship initiative led by the Foundation at the request of Texas A&M University leaders. Since Jan. 1, 2007, Operation Spirit and Mind has raised more than $284 million of its $300 million goal for Texas A&M scholarships and fellowships.