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"My Story"

STEPHANIE (JETER) CANNON '06, September 2, 2010

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"I am Sarah Bolton ’99, and this is My Story.
 
I have wanted one thing my whole life: to be a Texas Aggie. 
 
My dad (Gordon Landreth ’67) and my mom (Linda Landreth, TAMU-CC ’99) raised me and my brother (Scott Landreth ’91) and sister to love Texas A&M.  My earliest memories include going to A&M football games, touring campus, and singing the Aggie War Hymn with my family at Bonfire.  It was only natural that I would grow up to be a Texas Aggie.
 
I applied for admission to Texas A&M for the fall of 1995.  My application was denied.  I was crushed.  It was the only school I wanted to go to.  In the fall of 1995, I moved to College Station and began taking classes at Blinn.  Two years later, I transferred to Texas A&M. 
 
Each semester was a challenge for me.  While I was a student, I worked in the mall for a while.  I even worked for PTTS.  I made my closest friends and I met my husband (Joel Bolton ’97) at Texas A&M.  In May of 1999, Joel graduated.  The next month we got married and moved to Houston.  I was 30 hours short of graduating when we moved away.   (The 30 hours included 14 hours of a foreign language that I had not even started yet!  Fortunately, I finished all of my required upper-level classes and was able to take the remainder of my classes at any college and transfer them to Texas A&M upon completion.) 
 
I tried to go back to school but had to withdraw so that I could get a job.  I went on to have a baby and was actually able to commute to Texas A&M from The Woodlands for a year while friends babysat for me.  As time went by, it became more important to our family that I get a job, again, instead of finishing my degree.  I went back to work. 
 
In December of 2003, my son Ethan (and my unborn daughter Piper) accompanied me to Clayton W. Williams, Jr. Alumni Center, where I picked up my Aggie Ring.  A change in the requirements for transfer students allowed me to get my Ring before graduation.  I think that inspired me to really try to finish my degree. 
 
It would still be a long time until I could take more classes.  I had two more children.  I moved to Oklahoma so that my husband could get his PhD at Oklahoma State University. 
 
When we moved to Oklahoma in 2005, I enrolled at OSU so that I could start working towards graduation.  Again, I had to withdraw because of sick children and conflicting schedules.  Discouraged and tired, I vowed to give up on school.
 
My husband convinced me to enroll again at OSU in the fall of 2007.  I returned to school, but there was a condition: if I had to withdraw again, Joel would have to do it for me, and he would have to return all of my books.  It was too upsetting for me. 
 
Every time I had to withdraw, I could feel my dream of graduating from Texas A&M slipping away.  I could not bear to go through it again.  Joel agreed to my demands and assured me that the time was right.  With lots of support from my family, I was able to attend school continuously from the fall of 2007 until I graduated in spring of 2009.
 
By the time I enrolled in my last class in 2009, all of my credits from OSU had been transferred to Texas A&M.  With the help of the best advisor in the entire world (Robyn Konrad ’99) my transcript was sent to the dean for approval.  I ordered my graduation announcements and we planned a huge graduation party at the Green Room (at Wolf Pen Creek) to follow the ceremony. 
 
My sons (Ethan, who was 8 at the time, and Gunnar, who was almost 4) had their Texas A&M polos starched and hanging in their closets, ready to wear for graduation.  My daughter Piper, who was almost 5, had a brand new beautiful white sundress for the ceremony as well. 
 
In the months before graduation, the kids and I listened to the Aggie War Hymn on our way to school almost every morning.  It helped us get motivated for the day.  Plus, I wanted them to know the words to the song on graduation day! 
 
I graduated on the tenth anniversary of my husband’s graduation.  I had my three beautiful children there to cheer me on.  My husband was there.  My parents, my in-laws, and the friends I made at Texas A&M were there to celebrate with me. 
 
Words could not express my excitement and my relief!  Could it be that I was going to be a real Texas Aggie?  I was thrilled that my dream is coming true. 
 
Currently, we are living in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where we both work for Southeast Missouri State University.  I am the Assessment Coordinator for the Industrial Engineering and Technology Department, and my husband is a business professor in the Harrison College of Business. 
 
That is My Story.  I would have it no other way!"
 
Sarah Joy Landreth Bolton ‘99
 
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