A TASFAA Legacy
By Cherry Johnson
Close your eyes and remember your first TASFAA conference, your second and maybe even your third. Are you remembering being overwhelmed with rules and regulations, acronyms, and people you didn’t know so well? I do.
I remember my first TASFAA Conference in 1987. Saying I was nervous would be stating my feelings mildly. When I said I would move from recruiting to administering financial aid, I meant to try very hard. But there was so much hidden fear in that determination … no one else doing financial aid at my small school, no one to ride with to the annual TASFAA Conference, share a room, eat meals alongside or calm my jitters. That is until I met Ann Tinnon.
Ann seemed to look across the crowded room and see me! A novice, an unknown attendee, a shaking in her shoes hiding behind a slight smile first time conference goer. She approached, smiling, looking me in the eye, extending her hand and saying quite sweetly, “Hello, I am Ann Tinnon.” My feelings of being a frightened financial aid professional speck were immediately relieved. Ann walked me around introducing me here and there, assuring and encouraging me, and becoming my friend. I learned through the next few years this was just Ann’s operating mode. She cared about our Association and her TASFAA friends and peers as well as many, many students.
I am thrilled the Ann Tinnon Scholarship is being revitalized and newer TASFAA members are being introduced to Ann. We should be spotlighting her legacy of caring for TASFAA, the Association, its members, and the students we serve. Ann and so many other wonderful financial aid professionals may have departed from us too quickly, but they did bestow their legacy of caring. Let’s remember and keep carrying that gift as a light into the future.
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