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Jane Ragsdale Honored with Pioneer Trailblazer Award

Jane Ragsdale, Camp Director and Humanitarian, Honored with Pioneer Trailblazer Award at Pioneer Alumni Association Awards Ceremony

APRIL 8, 2022 — DENTON — C. Jane Ragsdale, Class of ‘79, was honored with the Pioneer Trailblazer Award last weekend at the annual Pioneer Alumni Association Awards ceremony in Denton, TX.

Ragsdale is known across the Texas Hill Country for her lifetime of commitment to Heart O’ the Hills, an all-girls summer camp in Hunt, TX, and for her humanitarian work in Guatemala.

A lifelong camper who inherited the love of outdoors from her father, Ragsdale has spent 52 summers at Heart O’ the Hills, which has been named among the Top 50 summer camps in the nation and Top 10 in Texas. She started off as a camper, was a camp counselor during her TWU years, and since she was 30 years old, has been the camp director. Countless young women from around the globe have come through Ragsdale’s camp over the decades, where she mentors and inspires girls to succeed by focusing on what she learned as a camper: social skills, problem solving, goal setting, time management, empathy, and leadership. “My passion,” she says, “is to pass along these precious personal treasures to other girls by keeping camp pertinent in today’s world.”

Jane RagsdaleShe has demonstrated leadership at the regional and state level by serving as president of CAMP, (Camping Association for Mutual Progress), the Peterson Regional HealthFoundation Board, the Schreiner University Board of Trustees, and a Ruling Elder of First Presbyterian Church of Kerrville.

Ragsdale’s education at TWU, where she earned degrees in Journalism and Spanish, have also served her well. As a volunteer with Let Hope Begin Here, Guatemala, a non-profit, humanitarian group, Ragsdale has been vital to their mission of community development in 23 remote rural villages.

For 10-odd years Jane has traveled to Guatemala with the group where they have installed water filtration systems, painted schools, churches, and facilitated educational and women’s health services. Her affinity for Guatemala began when she served as a reporter for the Guatemala News in Guatemala City after she graduated from TWU. She later went to work for La Nacion, the leading newspaper in Buenos Aires for a year, before returning to Hunt to work at Heart O’ the Hills again.

A third-generation TWU graduate, Ragsdale has the distinction of having been the first junior to ever be named the Editor in Chief of The Lasso, TWU’s student newspaper (a position she’d retain her senior year), and was recognized as a TWU Redbud Queen, a title and honor also bestowed on her mother in 1963. When she was considering where she should attend college, Ragsdale says TWU just felt like home. “Plus,” she says, “I thought ‘I’m not going to get my Mrs. Degree, I’m going to get my education.’”

Since 1969 the Pioneer Alumni Association, formerly known as the TWU Alumni Association, has bestowed awards in recognition of their tremendous contribution to their communities and field of study. The Pioneer Trailblazer Award is occasionally awarded to honor alumni for a lifetime of adventurous accomplishments.

Marketing Contact:

Luis G. Rendon
Marketing Chair
Pioneer Alumni Association