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Aggie fulfills promise to his late professor; 42 years later

Posted at 10:05 PM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-09 23:04:59-04

COLLEGE STATION, TX — Better late than never. After 42 years of graduating with his master’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M, Steve Powe has fulfilled a promise he made with one of his professors nearly a half-century ago.

“He said type it up, I need a clean copy and get it back to me. I said ‘Roger that, I’ll get that done,’ and that’s where I dropped the ball,” said Powe.

With a lot of downtime due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Steve took it as his opportunity to re-type his paper and submit a clean copy to the engineering school just like he had promised in 1978.

“Other things I was doing were throttled back because of COVID, and I said this is an opportunity. I’ve got a laptop, I’ve got the tools, let’s do it,” said Powe.

But what happened next, Steve never expected. You see, that professor, Dr. James Hennigan, died 20-years ago. But the engineering school forwarded Steve’s email to his daughter.

“When she received Steve’s email, she forwarded it to me right away. I was driving and I needed to pull off and read it and it just brought me to tears to read everything he had written and his feelings and memories of dad,” said Joni Lora, Dr. Hennigan's daughter.

Joni says she wanted to make sure Steve knew how much it would have meant to her father, that he fulfilled his promise.

“My dad would always say, “your word is your bond” and that you are to keep your promises, to keep your word. And to know that he had instilled that in Steve and students, well he recognized it in Steve, blew me away. It was just like this amazing time capsule of a love note if you will from my father's life and for him to know that Steve’s carried it with him all these years and I am so thankful he did.”

Steve and Joni met in Seattle, Washington just last week and Joni says Steve is a hero to her father’s memory.