Just days after high school graduation, Hughlene B. Frank '68 of Greensboro came to Appalachian to be the best that she could be. "That's what I was raised to be," she said. She was young and eager to learn.
"As we came around that corner, coming into town, I told Mother and Daddy, 'I'm so excited. What will this bring? I can't wait,'" Frank said, about beginning her college experience. "I wanted to be somebody, and I feel like that's what Appalachian gave me the opportunity to be."
After a career as a junior high math teacher and nearly four decades of service to Appalachian, Frank's spirit hasn't aged and her eagerness hasn't faded.
Frank served for 21 years as a founding member of the College of Arts and Sciences Advancement Council. She served on Appalachian's Board of Trustees for eight years, and she is currently a member of the Appalachian State University Foundation Inc. and the College of Health Sciences Advisory Board.
In 2004, Frank and her husband, Bill Frank, established the lead endowment for the university's visiting writers series, which was named the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series in her honor.
"I watched it make a difference in students' lives," Frank said, about the series. "I want Appalachian students to be able to go anywhere in life they dream of going."
Frank and her husband also established the College of Health Sciences' first endowed scholarship in nursing.
"The dreams I have are just the same dreams I had: make it bigger, better and best ... I want to shine. I don't have to be a leader, but I want to be a part of the team. I want to know I made a difference."
(exterior panning shot of Frank's home; then interior panning shots of photographs and personal memorabilia)
Hughlene B. Frank '68, 2013 Outstanding Service Award recipient: I am Tina Hughlene Bostian Frank, I was named after both my parents. My mother's name was Tina and my daddy's name was Hughlene. We grew up—I was raised in Landis, a town of about 1,500 people, and we all worked together. We didn't always have a great deal of wealth and it was a simple life, but it was rock solid. And that's what made me strong enough to be able to live my life. And as we grew up, and you know, time to go off to college ... debated where to go, and Appalachian offered the quarter system at that time. I thought I wanted to be a teacher. I was always good in math; I was good in English, too. And I went to summer school that summer, six days after graduation, something like that ... wound up at Appalachian. And as we came around that corner, coming into town, I told Mother and Daddy, 'I'm so excited. What will this bring? I can't wait,' you know. I wanted to be the best I could be, because that's what I was raised to be. I wanted to be somebody. And I feel like that's what Appalachian gave me the opportunity to be. A friend of mine said one time, 'What did your college education do for you, Hughlene?' and I said it gave me the confidence to look people eyeball to eyeball and feel good about myself and know that everyone has something to offer.
HF: When I was at Appalachian, and we were—that senior year came, and we'd gotten a notification that we'd be university (graduates) and it'd be on our class ring—we'd have the first class ring with Appalachian State University. And I still have that ring, and I treasure it. Wow, we are on our way! We're going to make it. It's going to be some kind of school. Well, 40 years later, it is some kind of school.
HF: I did my student teaching her, here in Greensboro. Wound up getting a job at Aycock Junior High, teaching math, and the summer between the two years I taught, I met Bill. My roommate and I had a party right before school started. I met Bill on an empty stomach and two drinks, so I talked him to death. (laughs) So we were married the following June. We had met and lived comfortably for many years. Bill said—well, Bill said, you don't have to teach. I was teaching junior high math, and it was very repetitious, and when Bill said you don't have to, I said 'I believe I'll take you up on that.' He's not selfish. Not the least bit. He gave me the freedom that I didn't have as a child because I had to work—we worked hard. To have the freedom to see the other side because we're such different personalities ... so far this way and so far that way, but we compliment each other. And a marriage is not made the first day you're married; it takes a lifetime. But God had a purpose for Bill, too. And it might have been just to be my husband, you know? But wasn't he lucky! (laughs)
HF: I had been involved in the symphony guild. Bill's mother had been real active in it and she thought I might enjoy it, and I did. I made lots of wonderful friends. The Greensboro Historical Museum—got all involved in that, and then the Red Cross. I served on their board for—I mean I served on the boards of all these, the executive boards of all of them. I finished that and somewhere along the way I heard about this certification for non-profit management that Duke University was offering. I thought, that sounds interesting because all my volunteer work had mostly been in non-profit. It gave me an opportunity to see the other side of what I might—if we ever gifted, you know, some of the questions to ask. I had gone to something one night, and the National Fundraisers has got a program and they're going to talk about generations skipping gifting. Anyway, I showed up and who would I see but Wayne Clawson, and before that day was out he asked me if I'd be interested in doing something at Appalachian.
HF: Oh, I was so excited to be asked to do something at Appalachian because, you know, there were 20 years that I had been so busy doing—here in Greensboro. And, so, they were talking to me about making a contribution to something, you know, that always—we've got this visiting writers series. It does a fine job; it makes such a difference in the students' lives. You know, as time—one year led to the next year, it just seemed like it was the right thing for Hughlene and Bill to do, and I've watched it make a difference in students' lives. It's exciting to see young people know what they want to do or think they'd like to do. I want Appalachian students to be able to do go anywhere in life they dream of going.
HF: That was—all that was taking place when I became a trustee. When I was appointed to the board of trustees I didn't see it as breaking through a glass ceiling. It was something I wanted to do. You know, why do you do it? You do it because you care. Somebody else sat there and cared before you came. The dreams I have are just the same dreams I had: make it bigger, better and best. Like Ken Peackock says, 'Let's go to the mountain top.' Appalachian's come along way. Let's hope they've inspired that next generation of great thinkers and doers, because they are our future.
HF: I feel like I've had the opportunity to serve at a pinnacle of time that will never be again because the stars lined up. I would have never thought that I would've received the Service Award because it doesn't feel so much like service when it's a friend; it just feels like the natural thing to do. That's probably the pinnacle for somebody to know or notice that you gave your all. And I thank you. Someone told me, said, 'Do you think you had life too easy?' No, I was just blessed. God held me in the palm of his hand. If I hadn't had that Little Light of Mine when I was six and seven years old at the Baptist church in the square of Kannapolis, N.C., singing your little heart out: 'This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine.' Well, I'm not ready for the candle to go out. I want to shine. It doesn't have to be—I don't have to be the leader. But I want to be a part of the team, and I want to know that I made a difference. That's not a bad thing to be said, is it? And I've lived a good life.
What do you think?
Share your feedback on this story.
About Appalachian State University
As a premier public institution, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives. App State is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, with a national reputation for innovative teaching and opening access to a high-quality, affordable education for all. The university enrolls more than 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and 80 graduate majors at its Boone and Hickory campuses and through App State Online. Learn more at https://www.appstate.edu.