Siblings Lindsey Dresner-Duke ’06 and Dustin Dresner ’01 unwrapped an unusual set of presents last Christmas—ones that revealed not trinkets or gadgets, but two plaques commemorating $25,000 scholarships endowed in their names by their parents, Brenda and Glenn Dresner ’69.
“We’ve always enjoyed giving gifts that are a total surprise,” Glenn said, “but it was extremely hard for us to keep the scholarships secret for over six months!”
In the spirit of the holidays, the Dresners decided to repay their gratitude for the experiences that Texas A&M afforded their family.
“I started wondering where I would be in life had I not attended Texas A&M,” Glenn said. “I attended college with the support of my parents, which led to a successful career, a happy marriage and two wonderful children.”
Glenn received a mechanical engineering degree in 1969 before working in the power generation business with Houston Lighting and Power (now NRG Energy Inc.) for 35 years. During his time in Houston, Glenn met Brenda, and the two were married in 1976. After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State and a master’s from Prairie View A&M, Brenda taught for 20 years and served as an assistant principal for 12 years.
The couple’s first child, Dustin, grew up fascinated by boats and fishing. His interests led him to study marine transportation at Texas A&M University at Galveston, where he graduated in 2001.
During his time at TAMU Galveston, Dustin met his wife Dr. Erin O’Dochart-Dresner ’04, and the two are expecting their first child in September.
“He originally began as a marine biology student, but that entailed less fishing than he envisioned,” Brenda chuckled. “He relished being at sea and working on a ship, so he changed his major after his sophomore cruise and focused on becoming a professional mariner.”
Dustin now serves as a licensed captain in the Merchant Marines and chief mate for Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. To honor his passion, the Dresners endowed a $25,000 scholarship for students studying marine transportation at the Texas A&M University Galveston campus.
The Dresner’s daughter, Lindsey, began dancing at just four years old. Her skill and passion led her to join the Aggie Dance Team, a student group that performs dance routines at sporting and social events. The organization shaped her time at Texas A&M.
“Through participating in the Aggie Dance Team, I learned to put the needs of my team before my own,” she said. “My teammates were my family during college. Though we all came from different backgrounds, we came together to form an amazingly collaborative and supportive team. My favorite college memories involve my teammates, basketball games and the trips we took together.”
Lindsey, who served as captain of the dance team her junior and senior year, graduated from Texas A&M in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology. After graduating, Lindsey became the drill team director at Cinco Ranch High School in Katy, Texas before resigning to become a full-time mom and wife to husband Aaron Duke ’03, and their children –four-year-old daughter named Reid and three-year-old son Hayes.
To commemorate her time on the team and the role it played in her life, Glenn and Brenda established a $25,000 endowed Aggie Dance Team scholarship which was awarded in fall 2016 to its first recipient, Lauren Mraz ’19. “Tears filled my eyes when I saw the plaque at Christmas,” Lindsey said. “I was incredibly blessed to have a debt-free education, but I know this is not the case for most students.”
With the help of Foundation development officers Torii Kapavik ’11 and Rick Kline, Brenda and Glenn pulled off their perfect Christmas surprise. Their gifts impact their family as well as the lives of future scholarship recipients and their families.
“Scholarships not only affect the student who receives them,” Glenn said, “but also relieve stress from the parents of that child. We are extremely grateful to give back to Texas A&M for all that it has given our family.”