Inspired by family, Gonzalez completes First Gen journey at MSU Texas

Promise fulfilled

Inspired by family, Gonzalez completes First Gen journey at MSU Texas

Lynda Gonzalez will become a first-generation college graduate from Midwestern State University Saturday at Kay Yeager Coliseum. Lynda will receive a bachelor’s degree in respiratory care from the Robert D. and Carol Gunn College of Health Sciences and Human Services. She’s the first from either side of her family to graduate from college.

For Gonzalez, it’s a promise kept as she realizes her dream and reaches a goal her family had for her.

"Growing up, my dad had always told me that the only thing he wanted from his daughters was obtaining a degree," Lynda said. "I know that achieving this dream goal was a proud moment because I kept my promise in doing so. I hope I am able to inspire other diverse communities that it is possible to achieve a dream goal, with the constant push we give ourselves and those who support us. For my future, I am thankful enough that I am set for a lifetime ahead in a career I passionately care for."

Lynda grew up in Temple, Texas, and graduated from Belton High School. Her family is from Melchor Muzquiz Coahuila, Mexico. Lynda knew early on that she wanted to attend a four-year university and major in Respiratory Care. MSU Texas was one of her two choices, along with Texas State. When she visited campus, in her heart, she knew this would be home. "It felt more homey, and I imagined myself walking to class on campus as soon as my tour was over."

Her family supported her all the way, especially her dad, who “reminded me every day that I was a step closer, and to never give up,” even when she broke her foot. "I am grateful that God gave me a family that constantly offered words of affirmation through the toughest times," Lynda said. "My dad reminded me that whenever I walk the stage, I would be set for life because he never wanted us to suffer the way he did growing up."

Lynda Gonzalez with the horses at the Spirit of the Mustangs
Lynda Gonzalez smiles next to the Spirit of the Mustangs outside of Centennial Hall. In the top family photo, Sendy Gonzalez, Maria Gonzales, Alondra Gonzalez, Lynda Gonzalez, and Jorge Gonzalez.


On campus at MSU Texas, Lynda found a home at the MSU Catholic Campus Center. "I felt an instant connection with everyone and the activities we did, such as retreats, helping out in the surrounding communities in Wichita Falls, or simply growing closer in our faith," she said. "I can truly say that the CCC gave me hope throughout my four years because I had tremendous support from everyone. I never felt alone in my journey because of them."

A hobby or habit Lynda enjoyed was taking photos, and not just by the dozens. "Let's just say I started with less than 1,000 photos in my camera roll to now with 6,000 photos filled with endless laughter together with the lifelong friends I made here at MSU Texas," she said. "The small ratio between classes and professors or even the events they hold gives you many opportunities in which you can instantly grow friendships."

Lynda’s family motivated her to complete her academic mission at MSU Texas. Her inspiration for respiratory care came from near to her heart as well. "My neighbor, Kathy Krog, was like my second mom. She had an illness called Cystic Fibrosis (a genetic disorder in which mucus builds up in the lungs and affects multiple organs in the body), and I grew up watching her go through her journey with it, from breathing treatments to her obtaining a double lung transplant," Lynda said.

A high school teacher introduced her to respiratory care as a potential career field, and Lynda had her mission outlined, finishing her basics and applying to the program at MSU Texas. “Halfway through the program, Kathy suddenly became ill and passed in November of 2021,” she said. "I promised her that I would complete my college career so I can keep her legacy alive by helping others such as herself and making them feel comfortable through rough times."

Promise kept! Promise fulfilled!