In Tribute to Our Past Guild Presidents

For the last 43 years, The Guild has been fortunate in leadership from women who have been committed to the support and promotion of the vision of HBU. To see the legacy that each Guild president has left, please click on each name.

+ deceased

Past Presidents

  • Cheryl Kaminski (2018-2020)

    During Cheryl Kaminski‘s term as president (’18-’20), The Guild celebrated its 45th anniversary in the fall of 2019. The Guild Institute in Christian Family Studies also joined with the University to celebrate the 100th birthday of Founding Father Dr. Stewart Morris at the ceremonial ground breaking of The Morris Family Center for Law and Liberty. The COVID-19 pandemic created a challenging environment in 2020. Despite the cancellation of the annual Silver Tea, fundraising efforts resulted in the awarding of five endowed scholarships and 33 annual scholarships to students pursuing a master’s degree in Theology and Education, as well as the EdD in Executive Educational Leadership. A highlight was the establishment of the Dr. Dawn Wilson Endowed Scholarship. This tribute to the late Dr. Wilson honors her memory as an HBU professor with a passion for education, a former Guild scholarship recipient and Guild member.

  • Mrs. Ruth Alford Draper (2016-2018)

    Ruth Alford Draper remembers The Guild playing a significant role in student scholarship support during her tenure as President (’16-’18).  Since the inception of The Guild’s scholarship program in 1995, more than 150 students in the fields of education and theology completed their masters’ degrees.  Through the generosity of Guild members, these students benefitted from an HBU education which prepared them to live Christian values in their professional lives.  It was during Ruth’s presidency that all Houstonians were affected by Hurricane Harvey, and Guild members again continued their traditions of serving, being joyful, patient, prayerful and sharing with those in need. Following Harvey, and throughout her two years as president, Ruth appreciated the dedication, hard work and talent of all Guild members … and often referred to them as family.

  • Mrs. Jan Witham (2014 - 2016)

    During Jan Witham’s two years (2014-2016) as President, The Guild celebrated its 40th Anniversary, which was highlighted by the recognition of Executive Director Sharon Saunders as the Silver Tea honoree.  Jan’s main focus to increase membership and raise funds to support Guild scholarships resulted in a total of more than $180,000 raised during her presidential tenure.  Also during this period, The Guild created its first scholarship for doctoral students, The Guild Endowed Scholarship in Executive Educational Leadership (EdD).  In total, The Guild awarded nine endowed scholarships and 44 annual scholarships to students pursuing advanced degrees in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences and the School of Christian Thought.  In addition to funding scholarships, The Guild also added $30,000 to the endowment for The Guild Institute in Christian Family Studies.

  • Mrs. Debra Perich (2012-2014)

    Debra Perich, an alumna of HBU, shared her enthusiasm and passion for the University by serving as Guild President for two years, 2012-2014. The Guild continued in its support of The Guild Institute in Christian Family Studies by adding $20,000 to its endowment. A two-year total of $148,000 was raised for scholarships which gave The Guild an opportunity to award six endowed scholarships and 46 annual scholarships to graduate students in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences and the School of Christian Thought. Historical facts, photos and anecdotes were added to the yearbook and to the website providing an opportunity to reflect on The Guild’s 40th year heritage.

  • Mrs. Anne Roper (2011-2012)

    Anne Roper’s year as President was marked by exciting changes happening at HBU (’11-’12). HBU accepted the invitation to join Southland Conference and bring football to the University. The Guild continued in its support of The Guild Institute in Christian Family Studies by adding $25,000 to its endowment and also completed the funding of the Sue Collier Sloan Endowed Scholarship. The Silver Tea honored Linda Higginbotham and Allene Lucas and raised more than $81,000 in scholarship money. Five endowed and nine one-year scholarships were awarded to graduate students in the Schools of Education and Theology.  Extensive work was begun on The Guild’s website making it not only a resource for current events, but also for documenting the history of The Guild.

  • + Mrs. Sharon Corry (2010-2011)

    During Sharon Corry’s term as President (‘10-’11), the sixth endowed scholarship was established. The Sue Collier Sloan Endowed Scholarship in Graduate Education was the first scholarship to be designated for the School of Theology. Additional funding of $50,000 to The Guild Institute in Christian Family Studies, along with this scholarship, was presented at the Annual Christmas Luncheon which commemorated the close of the 50th Anniversary of HBU.

  • Mrs. Kandy Brittain (2009-2010)

    It was Kandy Brittain’s privilege to serve as President of The Guild as HBU began its 50th anniversary celebration (‘09-’10). The crowning achievement during the year was to establish The Guild Institute in Christian Family Studies – a commitment which has, and will, continue to offer spiritual guidance to the HBU community, as well as the city of Houston. A gift of $50,000 was made to the Institute’s endowment.


  • Mrs. Gina Saour (2008-2009)

    For Gina Saour (’08-’09) the most outstanding memories of her year as President of The Guild were the friendships and the magnificent events. Also, it was a great opportunity to introduce Robert and Sue Sloan to the community.



  • Mrs. Shirley Asel (2007-2008)

    During Shirley Asel’s year as President (’07-’08), Col. 3:23 was chosen as our verse for the officers and committee members to follow, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as unto the Lord and not unto men.” The Belin Chapel and The Morris Cultural Arts Center were completed, and The Guild hosted the New Membership Orientation in the new facility.


  • + Mrs. Ginny Nelson (2006-2007)

    Ginny Nelson was President (’06-’07) during a time of transition for the University. Dr. Hodo had just retired as President of HBU, and Jack Carlson was serving as interim president prior to Dr. Sloan’s arrival in September of 2006. The Guild smoothly proceeded with their activities during this time of change … and happily welcomed Sue and Robert Sloan upon their arrival.


  • Mrs. Allene Lucas (2005-2006)

    During Allene Lucas’ term (’05-’06), The Guild reached the $1.0 million cumulative funding mark for scholarship awards; HBU’s First Lady Sadie Hodo was the Christmas Luncheon speaker; and President Doug Hodo announced his plans to retire. The President’s Primer was developed as a guidance resource for incoming Guild Presidents.


  • Mrs. Carolyn Little (2004-2005)

    Carolyn Little was privileged to serve as the Guild President during its 30th Anniversary year (‘04-’05). Under her leadership this commemorative cookbook was created. The Guild Legacy Cookbook shared family recipes and also fed the spirit of friendship.



  • Mrs. Beverly Boykin (2003-2004)

    In Beverly Boykin’s presidency (‘03-’04), The Guild completed The Guild Presidents Endowed Scholarship in Graduate Education. This fourth endowed scholarship was named in honor of the past and future presidents of the organization. Past President Nell Smith donated a beautiful silver bowl to be used for the annual Silver Tea. It was decided that proceeds from a special project, The Guild Legacy Cookbook, would be donated to the HBU Chapel capital campaign.


  • Mrs. Marsha Eckermann (2002-2003)

    In Marsha Eckermann’s tenure (’02-’03), the goal was to “keep the focus and stay the course.” With such a productive process in place, we took the opportunity to “play” a bit and celebrate “Miss Sadie’s Country Birthday” (HBU’s First Lady, Sadie Hodo). The group’s fourth endowed scholarship was initiated.


  • Mrs. Linda Higginbotham (2001-2002)

    During Linda Higginbotham’s term (’01-’02) The Guild reached new heights with the 10th anniversary of the Silver Tea and a successful fundraising effort that completed the funding of the third endowed scholarship, the Sharon Elaine Saunders Endowed Scholarship in Graduate Education, in the amount of $100,000.


  • Mrs. Peg Harman (2000-20001)

    Peg Harman (’00-’01) established the New Member Orientation that serves to welcome and familiarize the newest members with The Guild. She spearheaded the creation of the logo used on the organizations printed material, enhanced the membership brochure, and expanded the vision of the office of chaplain to encompass shepherding the women of the group through technology. Also, a third endowed scholarship in graduate education was initiated.


  • Mrs. Mary Ann Belin (1999-2000)

    Mary Ann Belin’s presidency (‘99-’00) saw the establishment of a second endowed scholarship, The Guild Endowed Graduate Education Scholarship in the amount of $100,000. Guild teachers served in public and private schools K-12.



  • Mrs. Kim Reid (1998-1999)

    For Kim Reid (’98-’99) service to the Lord and HBU is always delightful. “One of my fondest memories was my year as President of the HBU Guild … it will always be embedded in my heart.” The Guild completed its pledge to the E.D. “Doug” Hodo Endowed Scholarship in Graduate Education in the amount of $100,000.


  • Mrs. Faye Dunwoody (1997-1998)

    Faye Dunwoody (’97-’98) produced the 20th Anniversary Celebration honoring past presidents. She also expanded the idea of an organizational newsletter to communicate with the membership. She created notebooks for each board position, passing on information to future boards as well as creating a brochure to convey the purpose of the group and simplify the membership process.


  • + Mrs. Margaret Gregg (1996-1997)

    In Margaret Gregg’s term (199619’97), the organization continued to designate funds for The Guild’s first endowed scholarship, the Hodo Scholarship, which was a continuation of the Lord’s hand on our fundraising focus.



  • Mrs. Judy Graham (1994-1996)

    Judy Graham also served two terms as President, (’94-’96), during a pivotal time in the history of the group. It was then that the Executive Board of the organization recognized the need to provide a specific focus for their fundraising efforts and established scholarships for career classroom teachers majoring in graduate education. The first endowed scholarship, the E.D. “Doug” Hodo Endowed Scholarship in Graduate Education, was initiated.

  • Mrs. Grace Gandy (1992-1194)

    Grace Gandy (‘92-’94) began the first of her two terms in 1992. During her term in office the tradition of the Silver Tea (fundraising activity) began. Grace had the honor of presenting Dr. Hodo a check to fund a room in the new Hinton Center on behalf of the President’s Advisors. Also, during this period the name THE GUILD was embraced to better describe the group’s current role at the University.


  • Mrs. Morna Wall (1991-1992)

    Morna Wall (’91-’92) was thrilled to see the membership grow. Cullen Parlor, the group’s meeting location, could no longer hold the membership. Growth and progress were her priorities.



  • Mrs. Barbara Beok (1990-1991)

    During Barbara Boek’s time in office (’90-’91), a unique program was established — a mentoring partnership with the women students living in the dorms on campus providing parties, social functions and food during finals.



  • + Mrs. Lee Lawrence (1989-1990)

    Lee Lawerence (’89-’90), along with the three preceding presidents, was appointed to the President’s Advisors Building Committee. The dream of building the Hinton Center was becoming a reality.



  • + Mrs. Nell Smith (1988-1989)

    Nell Smith (’88-’89) was one of the most active, devoted and dynamic members of The Guild and HBU. During her tenure, she had the privilege of hosting a coffee with Susan (Mrs. James) Baker as speaker.



  • + Mrs. Marie Kern (1987-1988)

    Marie Kern (’87-’88) had the honor of being the head of the organization when Dr. E.D. Hodo took office as University president. She made it her priority to help him in his transition, making sure that Dr. Hodo and his wife Sadie felt welcome in their new home.


  • + Dr. Kate A. Bell (1986-1987)

    Kate Bell followed the next year (’86-’87). She is remembered for her passion, vision and dedication to the concept of building the Hinton Center. At the end of Kate’s tenure as President, a new University President was named and Dr. Hinton was elevated to the position of chancellor.


  • + Mrs. Merrie Brigman (1985-1986)

    Merrie Brigman (’85-’86) said that the outstanding accomplishment of the group during her term as President was securing permission from the University trustees to participate in the naming, promoting and raising of funds for the Hinton Center on the University campus.


  • + Mrs. Mary Olsen (1984-1985)

    Mary Olsen (’84-’85) remembered the friendships and the privilege of serving as President as the highlight of her time in office. She continued her involvement in the organization throughout her lifetime.



  • + Mrs. Lou Davis (1983-1984)

    The next year President Lou Davis (’83-’84) and her leadership planned an evening for members at the Racquet Club with Astronaut Jim Lovell as guest speaker. Lou commented that “it is great to know and understand that our Savior’s love extends to all — everywhere.”



  • + Mrs. Yvonne Cockrell (1982-1983)

    The 20th Anniversary of HBU and of Dr. Hinton’s 20th year as University President was celebrated during Yvonne Cockrell’s term (’82-’83) when the organization hosted a tea to commemorate the occasion.



  • + Ms. Kathryn Mayfield (1981-1982)

    Kathryn Mayfield (’81-’82) followed Ruth and still has the distinction of serving as the youngest President. With the new focus on teacher training, it was fitting that Kathryn returned to the classroom to provide a positive influence to young minds.



  • + Mrs. Ruth Coulson (1980-1981)

    Serving as President of the group was just one of many positions Ruth Coulson (’80-’81) filled throughout her years in service to HBU. For many years she continued to chair Membership, and she welcomed many to the organization.



  • Mrs. Catherine Thiele (1979-1980)

    Catherine Thiele (’79-’80) and her officers hosted the first Christmas Luncheon at River Oaks Country Club. It was such a success that it has been a yearly tradition ever since.



  • + Mrs. Winnie Brown (1978-1979)

    In her 1978 term Winnie Brown continued to expand membership and help recruit women from the Baytown area who shared the vision of the organization.



  • + Mrs. Sharon Burrows (1977-1978)

    Sharon Burrows (’77-’78) followed and continued the legacy by showing her willingness to seek the Lord’s guidance and her responsiveness to the needs of the University.



  • + Mrs. Leah Tucker (1976-1977)

    Leah Tucker (’76-’77) became the second President and saw her challenge as increasing membership.  In October of her term, the group sponsored a sold-out luncheon at River Oaks Country Club.



  • + Mrs. Colletta McMillian (1975-1976)

    This chain began in 1975 with the Founding President Colletta McMillian who said, “God had a plan and I sought His guidance.” It all started with an organizational coffee, a small group of women and a mission. Several in attendance that day later became Presidents of the group, including Catherine Thiele and Winnie Brown.