Endowment honors legacy of student


Photo Courtesy of Mary Landrum

Brihana Landrum, Texas State alumna, is getting an endowed scholarship in her name with efforts from the community.

Sonia Garcia

After watching their daughter succeed at Texas State, it only seemed appropriate for the Landrum family to honor their daughter’s academic success by helping out other students.

It’s been a tough six months for the Landrums who lost their daughter Brihana Landrum, Texas State alumna, on Feb. 17 to a murder suicide. Bret and Mary are sharing their daughter’s legacy by working on the establishment of an endowed scholarship in her name.

The day of her funeral service, it became evident to Bret and Mary they needed to honor their daughter in a more permanent way. Brihana was the light of their lives who had a bright future ahead of her.

“Students who will be applying for the scholarship, will get to know who (Brihana) was, her passions, her dreams and in some way carry out her dreams and legacy,” Mary said.

After only two months of planning, donations began flooding in for the Brihana Rea Landrum Scholarship went up on the University Crowdfunding page on Aug. 5.

In just a week, the donation amount had almost reached $25,000, the university minimum to become a permanent and reoccurring scholarship, or endowment. Today there are over 150 donors and over $31,000 of the new goal of $50,000.

In 2018, 66 new endowed scholarships were made available, an all-time record high. The scholarship in Brihana’s name will be made available on the Bobcat Online Scholarship System.

Kristi Poe, director of development in University Advancement, said she is impressed by the strong family support that has raised the minimum amount already.

“I’m honored to be the one to help (establish the scholarship,) and I’ll be really happy when we award the first scholarship,” Poe said. “It’s a hard thing to do (to raise this amount of money) but the family has really been proactive, and it’s obvious they really want to honor their daughter through this.”

Two fundraisers are currently being organized for the fall and spring to continue raising funds. In October, a friend of Mary’s Robert Tomlinson will be leading a motorcycle run sponsored by Ducati Austin. In the spring, an annual event with a silent auction will take place in Brihana’s name to raise money for the scholarship.

“I just wanted to do something so everyone would remember her and know who she was,” Tomlinson said.

The more money raised the more students that can be awarded or higher the award can be per student. Now that the scholarship has surpassed $25,000, it will be up to Bret and Mary to split the scholarship for multiple students or to award one student.

Bret and Mary set the criteria for the scholarship so that anyone in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Brihana’s undergrad and graduate school, could apply. The only requirements for applicants is that they have at least a 3.0 GPA and they are a student in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences.

The Landrums have just kicked off this journey in honoring their daughter. They hope to do more in the future. On a regular basis, Mary said she hears about how her daughter affected people in a positive way, even those she did not know.

Bret and Mary said they see Brihana in everything they do and she makes them better people.

“I see her in everything that I do; she makes us be better people,” Mary said. “I try to emulate who she was; I was supposed to be teaching her but she ended up teaching me. She was special,” Mary said.

Another day goes by and in their pain, Bret and Mary pray their daughter’s favorite prayer daily. It’s a routine that gets them through a day without Brihana.

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