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Award-winning author dedicates book proceeds to Blinn College endowed scholarship

Elaine Thomas’s 'Stories I've Been Told' tells tales of Fayette County residents

November 3, 2021

Elaine ThomasWhen most people endow a Blinn College District scholarship, they write a check. Elaine Thomas wrote a book.

Thomas has dedicated the proceeds from her new book, “Stories I’ve Been Told: Volume 1,” to an endowed scholarship that she and husband Emil established several years ago. That scholarship was funded with proceeds from Thomas’ 2018 book, “Veterans’ Voices and Home Front Memories.”

The scholarship is one of almost 300 administered by the Blinn College Foundation.

In addition to being an award-winning writer, Thomas teaches a “Preserving Your Family History” class at the Blinn-Schulenburg Campus. The Thomases, who moved from Houston to Fayette County in 1999, have been steadfast supporters of Blinn College.

“We choose to support Blinn – and especially Blinn-Schulenburg – because we believe in Blinn’s mission and want students who need a hand to continue their education to have a resource to fall back on,” she said.

“Stories I’ve Been Told” is a complilation of 25 one-on-one interviews Thomas conducted with area residents. The 210-page book is available for $14 at Amazon.com and at Thomas’s website, elainethomaswriter.com.

The book has drawn rave reviews, including from Thomas Zigal, award-winning author of “Many Rivers to Cross.”

“Elaine Thomas’ incredibly charming ‘Stories I’ve Been Told’ took me back to my 1950s childhood visiting relatives on their farms in Fayette County,” Zigal said. “With great affection and a rich abundance of personal anecdotes, Elaine captures rural and small-town life in the early and mid-20th century, when the Great Depression and World War II had a profound effect on that special neck of the woods. I was won over by these stories of good folks and their hardscrabble, challenging times. This is a book to savor and admire.”

Stories include how a woman’s fruitcake recipe earned her an appearance on the Johnny Carson television show, a young man who didn’t care if he lived or died as he faced a sniper’s reign of terror on the University of Texas campus, a family that once lived a “gypsy life” on the rails of the Southern Pacific Railroad, and how a farmer’s short-term job with the Fayette County Soil and Water Conservation ended up lasting 50 years.

Sam Sommer, Chair of the Blinn College Foundation Board of Directors, said scholarship donors like Thomas continue to find unique ways to help students.

“Dedicating the proceeds from her book toward an endowed scholarship is a tremendous gesture,” Sommer said. “A lot of Blinn students are going to benefit from her writing skills and generosity. These scholarships can truly be life-changing.”

The Blinn College Foundation provides financial support for activities and programs that enhance educational opportunities for Blinn students.

Endowed scholarships are available to new and returning students from a wide variety of backgrounds, majors, and experiences. Scholarships are awarded based on high academic achievement, participation in student activities, and community involvement.

Students can apply for approximately 300 Blinn scholarships by completing a single application at www.blinn.edu/scholarships. Prior to applying, students must complete an application for admission to Blinn College at www.goapplytexas.org.

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