Rawls Valentine: Debbie Gleason and Bobby Gleason
Debbie and Bobby Gleason were married in August 1971, and have three grandchildren that they hope will be future Red Raiders.
Rawls College | February 14, 2023
Debbie Gleason (DG)
Graduation Year: 1974
Bobby Gleason (BG)
Graduation Year: 1972
Describe your partner in 3 words
Kind, nice, diplomatic
Loving, kind, smart
What is your couple's origin story?
In the summer of 1965, before my freshman year of high school, some friends and I were “dragging main” in Muleshoe. There were some Lazbuddie boys riding bicycles at the end of Main Street that my friends knew, so we stopped to talk to them. Bobby was with them, and I remember him being the cutest thing I had ever seen, with strawberry blonde hair and a smile as big as Texas. Later that fall, my neighbor asked the two of us to be on a youth board and to go on a double date with him and one of my friends. That's how we started dating.
Debbie and I met officially at a meeting of the Muleshoe Area Youth Council, a group that sponsored youth dances for area teens at the American Legion Hall. I asked Debbie to go on a double date with another couple. We dated throughout high school as high school sweethearts. I started college at Texas Tech in the fall of 1968, and we dated others during this year. Debbie started college at Texas Tech in the fall of 1969, and we shortly started going steady. We dated throughout college and were engaged to be married in the Fall of 1970.
What was your partner like as a student?
I would have to say that Bobby was not a super serious student when he was pursuing his first bachelor's degree in management. I was an accounting major, and I would say I was probably a more diligent student than Bobby at that time. We did have a couple of classes together. One was a management class, and we stayed up all night with a group of others in the class to prepare for the final exam. I did not do as well on that exam as other exams and learned to not pull an all-nighter.
Bobby pledged Fiji his sophomore year, and I pledged Alpha Phi my sophomore year, so we were both busy participating in Greek activities.
We married while still attending Tech. Bobby was a senior, and I was a junior. After he graduated, we moved to Arlington and Bobby took a job as assistant manager with Skillern's Drug Store, a Zale's corporation subsidiary. I finished by correspondence and went to work for a small CPA firm in Dallas. We stayed there 10 months and returned to Lubbock for Bobby to pursue an accounting degree. He took all of his accounting courses in one year and became an exemplary student with great grades. I'm not sure how he did that, but he had some great professors that encouraged him along the way, including Dr. Herschel Mann and Dr. Dan Guy.
Debbie was always a terrific and serious student. She was an accounting major, and I was majoring in management. She was a member of Alpha Phi, and I was a member of Phi Gamma Delta. We attended many Texas Tech sporting events. I graduated with a BBA in Management in August 1972, and we moved to Dallas. Debbie graduated in December 1972 with an accounting degree. As she was earning significantly more than me, we decided to return to Texas Tech for me to earn an accounting degree. With the grace of God and two terrific professors, Dr. Dan Guy and Dr. Herschel Mann, I was able to overcome a less-than-stellar first four years of academic performance. To this day, I will never be able to say thank you enough to these two special people.
In what ways has your partner changed since you were students?
Bobby is maybe more serious and meticulous in his work and career than he was as an undergraduate student. He has impressed on our three children the need to be a good student and to work hard, and he has set a great example for them.
Debbie has always been the rock of our family, and I am just smart enough to finally understand and follow her guidance. We are the proud parents of three Texas Tech graduates: Dr. Trish Driskill, currently on the faculty of the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio and (surprise!), a CPA and teaches accounting; Casey Gleason, a registered nurse in Denver, Colorado; and Dr. Brett Gleason, who earned his doctorate from Old Dominion University and is on the faculty of the University of Nevada Las Vegas teaching Human Services. We have two wonderful sons-in-law, John Driskill and Brian Zielinski, and one great daughter-in-law, Laina Gleason. We also have three grandchildren that we hope will be future Red Raiders: Lola Kate, June Driskill and Rhea Gleason.
How did attending the same business college impact your relationship with one another?
Because we both attended Texas Tech at the same time, we have great memories and made great friends together there. We are Red Raiders to the core and all three of our children and a daughter-in-law are also Texas Tech graduates. After graduating, Bobby worked at Texas Tech for 27 years and was with the Athletics Department for 22 of those years. We have attended many Texas Tech games and still support our Red Raiders every chance we get.
Debbie and I have always been avid Red Raiders and support the university in all the ways that we can. We are so proud of the growth and development of our university into a world-class institution.
We are definitely Red Raiders for life!
What is your favorite memory of Rawls College with your partner?
One memory stands out and is kind of silly. We were in the business college library, which was on the first floor of what is now the Mass Com building. It was super quiet in there, as it should be when people are studying, but for some reason, we got so tickled about something that we could not stop laughing. Finally, we just had to leave before we were thrown out.
I truly enjoyed my classes at Texas Tech, and being there with Debbie enhanced my experience tremendously. I remember walking to class together and meeting between classes to grab a coke at the SUB.
Of course, creating a lifelong relationship with Dr. Dan Guy and Dr. Herschel Mann was life-changing.