Tom Locke is president of the Texas Methodist Foundation and a lifelong Methodist who traces his family roots in the denomination to 1850. He was the first in his family to receive an undergraduate degree — a bachelor's degree in business from Texas A&M University in 1974. His wife, Cindy, served as a university administrator at Southwestern University.
Education is more than a practice for the Locke family — it's a value they hope to pass through generations. That's one of the reasons Tom and Cindy made an estate gift to Texas Wesleyan. Their gift is planned to help first-generation college students — in a place where those students can thrive. "The [giving] conversation doesn't begin with what the university needs," he says. "It begins with what your values and beliefs are."
Tom’s oldest son, Collin Locke ’04, chose to attend Texas Wesleyan, and the relationships Collin made while at Wesleyan made him who he is today.
Tom says he feels emotional when he hears Collin tell him about a student he helped. "What happened in that class wasn't simply a transaction or learning a date or a name," Tom says. "It was a transformation of a young student."
Helping never ends with only one person. The good work goes on. "It takes a school like Texas Wesleyan, with its culture and its sense of purpose, for that story to occur," Tom says. "I believe Texas Wesleyan is one of those places now, and I believe it will be in the future. This is what propelled our decision to create an endowed gift. We encourage others to consider doing the same."
To read more about Tom and Cindy’s story, visit our planned giving website.