James Betterton & Laci Strickland Betterton Memorial Endowment

On January 9, 2011, two Texas A&M University–Commerce alumni, James and Laci Betterton, died tragically in an auto accident during the snow and ice storms. The newlyweds were recent graduates of the Music Education program and were teachers for Garland ISD.
In honor of their memory, the music service fraternities of Texas A&M University–Commerce, Phi Mu and Mu Phi Epsilon, hosted the James and Laci Betterton Memorial Recital April 2 in the Finney Concert Hall.

More than 150 members of the university community attended the recital featuring solo performances from faculty and students. Donations given during the recital surpassed the $3000 goal, totaling over $3100 with additional funds still coming in. The money will be used to name two chairs in the Concert Hall in honor of the Bettertons.

“This initiative was meaningful and wonderful on multiple levels,” said Dr. Chris White, head of the music department. “From a broader perspective the students learned to give of their time and musical talent to a worthy endeavor. The parents experienced the healing love of James’ and Laci’s friends. The evening reminded the faculty of the real legacy that James and Laci left the University: their passion for music education, the love they shared with their fellow students, and the beautiful music they made while they were here.”

The James Betterton and Laci Strickland Betterton Endowed Scholarship is awarded annually to the junior or senior vocal music education major who best exemplifies the wonderful qualities that James and Laci brought to Texas A&M-Commerce. James and Laci embodied the finest attributes of music education majors -both were outstanding students in the classroom, exemplary musicians in solo performance and choir, and extraordinary contributors to the Music Department and Texas A&M University­ Commerce. The endowed scholarship in their name was established by their parents in loving memory of their children.

(Taken from the Spring 2011 edition of the Pride Alumni Magazine)