Jeanette Conner: Her Legacy Gift
Jeanette Conner, a 1979 graduate of Campbellsville College, grew up in southwestern Virginia loving to learn. As the daughter of a coal miner and one of eight children, she grew up acting as a second mom to her siblings and couldn't really attend school until the age of 10. "I stayed in first grade for six weeks then moved up to second grade for another six weeks. Eventually, the superintendent stepped in and said three grades in one year was enough," Jeanette says.
Jeanette was baptized at 12-years-old. A few years later she taught her father how to read the Bible and he became saved; then her whole family followed, who were also saved.
Jeanette graduated from high school at age 19, but she never had any books. "Whatever I did, it was from the inside of me," she says.
After high school, her father wouldn't let her go to college. Instead, she had to wait until she was married and living on her own to achieve this dream, which came true at age 41 when she came to Campbellsville College.
After only three years at Campbellsville, she graduated with a double major in education and social work. Jeanette then continued her education at Western Kentucky University to receive her Rank I certification, masters in school psychology, and education specialist degree. Jeanette taught at Taylor County Elementary School and also taught Taylor County High School students with learning disabilities. In addition, she taught at Campbellsville University and Lindsey Wilson College for some time.
"I love learning, I didn't mind the work at all. I still enjoy learning," she says. Even though she is retired, Conner is still teaching...she teaches classes on prayer at Campbellsville Baptist Church.
Jeanette even had the experience of traveling to Australia and China with the Student Ambassador Program founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. "The Lord blessed me," Jeanette says. "I got to stand on the Wall of China...nobody ever thought of me doing something like that because we were poor."
Now, Jeanette is giving back and helping others who otherwise may not have the opportunity for a Christian education. When her husband, Sam, was alive, they would give to Campbellsville University every year. She has since decided to deed her house to Campbellsville University.
Through this, the university will benefit from scholarships that will be divided between ministerial and educational services. It is split this way because her husband was a minister and she was a teacher. "All the doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs need a teacher, and all the people with sin problems need a minister," she says.
"I thought this would be the best way to serve others—giving scholarships to needy students...I believe in Christian education, and I wish someone would have been able to help me. I like to see students rewarded for doing a good job. The Lord has blessed me abundantly, and I want to be prepared."
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