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Bess Dunner

Quinnite Spotlight: President, Paul Quinn College Alumni Association

Bess Dunner – Class of 1974
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The Quinnite Nation is blessed to have Bess Dunner take on an even bigger alumnus role as president of the Paul Quinn College Alumni Association. Dunner graduated from Paul Quinn College in 1974 and accepted the leadership role this past November. She looks forward to focusing on fundraising and helping the school achieve its goal of becoming one of America’s great small colleges!

Additionally, Dunner has set a goal of increasing alumni donations by 5 to 10% in the next two years.    “In order to bring this goal to fruition, it will take everyone involved in our tradition-enriched community to roll up their sleeves and pitch in,” explains Dunner.

She continues, “…college officials, board, faulty, student body as well as the Alumni Association will benefit from this swell of prosperity. This, in turn will increase cohesion and strengthen the foundational solidarity all of us have for the greatest college on earth!”

Dunner plans to spearhead frequent fundraisers and is working with Paul Quinn College’s Alumni Association to raise $50,000 by Homecoming 2014!

“My vision is for the Alumni Association to present at $50,000 check to Paul Quinn College at Homecoming 2014!” Dunner explains, “If each alumnus gives $5.00 per week until November we could reach our goal.”

The alumni association dues are $50.00/year, which breaks down to $25.00 for the local chapter and $25.00 for the national chapter. If a local alumni chaper doesn’t exist in your area, you are welcome to start a new chapter or join the Waco or Dallas chapters.Additionally, for $1,000 alumni can purchase a lifetime membership, which funds the scholarshipendowment.

Dunner and the Alumni Association recently launched a PayPal account so alumni dues can be paid online. (Account name: paulquinnco)

When reminiscing about her days on campus, Dunner noted how much she enjoyed the men’s basketball games and the Theta Theta chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She also shared two of her favorite stories from her college years:

Memory one: I came to Paul Quinn in 1973 as a seventeen year old from a small town in Alabama. I first came to campus while moving into the dorm and remember the Coke truck was parked in front. The driver of the truck took a pallet of drinks in the dorm.  He left something outside and went back to get it. But while the driver ran outside, students started rolling drinks down the hall! Then other students came out of their dorm rooms and began picking up the cokes and drinking them. I was so shocked that I just stood there staring. (Welcome to PQC college life!)

Memory two: Ms. Ruth served as dorm mother when I was at Paul Quinn and it was the common perception that she knew everything about everybody (or so we thought). Then one evening, someone got really angry at Ms. Ruth for writing notes and placing them in her window. They called 911 and told them that there was an emergency at the dorm.  When the police arrived on campus, Ms. Ruth ran to the door to see what was going on.  To her surprise, the police told her they were coming to get Ruth who lived in the dorms.  (Lucy Hughes Dormitory was a great place to live!)

Dunner currently lives in Dallas, TX and is married to Jeff Earle Dunner Senior, who is also from the PQC class of 1974.  They have three grown children: Jeff Junior, Anquenetta and Justin. She is also a “super grandmother.”

After graduation, Dunner worked for the State of Texas for twenty-one years. After retirement she started her own business, which she sold ten years later. Dunner also worked as a youth minister for twenty-five years and took special interest in people with disabilities.


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