Posted by Mark Hendricks
University News Service
Oct. 7, 2008
Jerry and Linda Fields of Houston have donated $250,000 to the Strutters Commitment at Texas State University-San Marcos, a drive to raise funds for a showcase gallery honoring the legacy of the university’s famed dance team.
The Fieldses are among the university’s most generous donors and they are co-chairs of Texas State ’s Pride in Action fund-raising campaign. Including the $250,000 gift to the Strutters Commitment, the Fieldses have donated more than $3.6 million to Texas State .
Both are Texas State alumni and Linda Fields is a former Strutter.
“I believe the history of the Strutters needs to be told and that the legacy of the Strutters needs to be preserved forever,” said Linda Fields. “The Strutters have made Texas State known throughout the country and they have attracted wonderful young women to this university and they continue to do so.”
The goal of the Strutters Commitment is to raise $2.5 million to build a gallery honoring the Strutters legacy in the university’s proposed new Alumni Center . It will serve as a permanent repository for photographs, archives and other Strutters memorabilia.
The organization – the first precision dance team formed at a four-year university in the United States – was founded 49 years ago by Barbara Tidwell, who served as director and choreographer for 37 years. She was succeeded by Susan Angell-Gonzalez who directs the Strutters today. The Strutters Always Chapter of the Texas State Alumni Association is currently planning a gala golden anniversary celebration to be held in the fall of 2009.
“Barbara Tidwell has been a huge influence on the young women of the State of Texas . She established a tradition of teaching young women not just to dance, but also to live good lives and to be patriotic. Susan Angell-Gonzalez has done a fabulous job of carrying on the Strutters tradition. I am proud to have been a Strutter and cherish the friendships I have made – and continue to make – along the way,” said Linda Fields.
Jerry Fields echoed his wife’s sentiments.
“The Strutters are the most close-knit organization that Texas State has ever known,” he said. “No sorority, fraternity, student government organization or athletic team has ever proven to be such a family.”
Through the years, the Strutters have served as ambassadors of the university across the globe. They have performed in 22 nations on four continents. They have participated in two Presidential Inaugural Parades, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, numerous NFL and NBA halftime shows and, most recently, were featured on NBC’s America’s Got Talent.
There are more than 3,000 former Strutters and former managers. Volunteers in the fund-raising drive plan to begin contacting them to seek participation in the Strutters Commitment. They hope to reach their $2.5 million goal before the 50th anniversary celebration next fall.
Linda Gregg Fields is a 1966 graduate of Texas State . Jerry D. Fields, a 1969 graduate of Texas State , is founder, chairman and chief executive officer of J.D. Fields & Co., Inc., a worldwide supplier of steel products headquartered in Houston, with regional offices in Dallas, Tulsa, New Orleans , Chicago , Denver , Los Angeles and Guadalajara , Mexico .
For further information, contact Strutters Commitment co-chairs Johanna (Stallman) Haley or Diana (Becker) Finlay Hendricks at 512-618-3373 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.