Meet the Gillespies
We are proud to have Tanya and TJ Gillespie as our 2020-2021 Parents of the Year. Nominated by Andrew Marko, a member of company P-2 in the Corps of Cadets and other members of this outfit, it was very clear that they upheld the Aggie core values and showed selfless service to Texas A&M University students and families by opening their home to all through their non-profit organization, Taylor’s Place.
In his nomination, Marko said he met the Gillespies shortly after completing Freshman Orientation Week (FOW) in the Corps. When he and the other freshmen in his outfit were told to contact Tanya Gillespie to set up a dinner, they didn’t realize they were getting so much more.
“What we didn’t know was that we were basically gaining an entirely new set of parents that would love and care for us just as much as our own did,” Marko said. “Freshmen year had its challenges and its rewards, but Tanya and T.J. were there for all of it.”
The couple said receiving this distinction reinforces their passion for their nonprofit work and they look forward to the year ahead.“This award brings us comfort that our mission at Taylor’s Place and the reason we do it is needed,” said the Gillespies. “We are here solely for the students and their families and will strive to continue the legacy paved before us by all Parents of the Year.” We are grateful for their dedication to the university and love having the opportunity to work alongside them this year! The press release announcing their status as Parents of the Year can be found here.
The Parents of the Year (POY) program is a unique family recognition program that has existed at Texas A&M since 1956. When the program began in 1956, it was known as the Aggie Mother of the Year program. Current students would nominate deserving Aggie Mothers and they would be honored at Mother’s Day ceremonies. In 1974 the award was changed to Parents of the Year, yet the selection and announcement process remained the same. Although the announcement process looks slightly different present-day, all other aspects of the program remain the same.
The award, given once a year, recognizes the dedication and involvement of Aggie family members. Families selected as Parents of the Year are invited to be recognized during Family Weekend events, Parents of the Year reunion events, and other campus activities.
Nominations for the 2021-2022 Parents of the Year will open at the end of 2020. Please check back for updates. Read below for nomination requirements.
|2020-2021||Tanya & TJ Gillespie|
|2019-2020||Susan & Preston Abbott|
|2018-2019||Courtney & Bret Turner|
|2017-2018||Shelly & Rodney Moss|
|2016-2017||Glenda & Dean Schneider|
|2015-2016||Ann & Steve Lovett|
|2014-2015||Sondra & Todd Janssen|
|2013-2014||Mary & Gonzalo Rodriguez|
|2012-2013||Kathy & Brien Smith|
|2011-2012||Katy & John Garcia|
|2010-2011||Susan & Keith Weid|
|2009-2010||Lea Ann & Johnny Walker|
|2008-2009||Gerilyn & Kenneth Kleckley|
|2007-2008||Teresa & Roger Lane|
|2006-2007||Patsy & Bruce Nichols|
|2005-2006||Kathy & David Howard|
|2004-2005||Elaine & Eugene Baumann|
|2003-2004||Janice & Tim Kerlee|
|2002-2003||Kathryn & Keith Wilson|
|2001-2002||Marjorie & Bob Walters|
|2000-2001||Marilyn & Bill Youngkin|
|1999-2000||Johnette & Jon Jarvis|
|1998-1999||Gayle & Ken Cox|
|1997-1998||Margaret & Bob Palm|
|1996-1997||Caroline & Gerald Macmanus|
|1995-1996||Shirley & Jim Bilhartz|
|1994-1995||Donna & John VanDuyn|
|1993-1994||Sue & Rodney Hill|
|1992-1993||Thelma & Woody Isenhart|
|1991-1992||Barbara & Ted Coughran|
|1990-1991||Patricia & Richard Brunner|
|1989-1990||Goldia & Patrick Hubert|
|1988-1989||Peggy & John Erickson|
|1987-1988||Joanie & Frank Abbott|
|1986-1987||Joan & Bill Heye|
|1985-1986||Patty & Joe Hlavinka|
|1984-1985||Jan & Jim Uptmore|
|1983-1984||Gardner & William Osborn|
|1982-1983||Gloria & Charles Weinbaum Jr.|
|1981-1982||Virginia & Ernst Jaska|
|1980-1981||Nancy & William Stroman|
|1979-1980||Martha & Oswald Kubecka|
|1978-1979||Inez & Ralph Menefee|
|1977-1978||Dorothy & Durwood Clader|
|1976-1977||Mary Jo & John Walker|
|1975-1976||Betty & James Singleton|
|1974-1975||Mary & Kenneth Singleton|
|1973-1974||Marjorie E Ramage|
|1969-1970||Sister Schodts Reed|
The Parents of the Year Award does not discriminate against non-traditional households. If you were raised by someone other than your birth mother or father, please take the time to nominate that special individual. You may nominate both of your parents or caregivers for the award. Nominees do not have to be former students to be selected for the award.
- Nomination must be made by a current TAMU student
- Answer 4 short answer essay questions
- Provide contact information for both nominator and nominees
- Nominees must be available to participate in Family Weekend
Nominations for the Texas A&M Parents of the Year are reviewed by the Parent and Family Programs team in the Office of New Student and Family Programs as well as the Aggie Parent and Family Ambassador student organization.
Students and other constituents who review Parents of the Year nominations will use a rubric to score the nominations.
Nominations Open TBD
Nomination Due TBD
Nomination Review from TBD
Nominations for the next Parents of the Year open from December to the following January each year. The selection process begins in February of each year. If you are at all interested in more information about nominating future Parents of the Year or the selection process, please do not hesitate to reach out to New Student & Family Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org