Chance meeting with Kent Hance leads single mom to graduate from Texas Tech

As one of the last graduating classes of Texas Tech’s first century walked the stage on Saturday, one student had a unique story that started with an encounter on an airplane in 2015 with the chancellor emeritus.

Erica Flores, a general studies graduate from Dallas, said she remembers the visit with Kent Hance quite well.

“I was going to Austin, I believe for work,” Flores said. “I was on a Southwest flight and I had C boarding, which basically means center seat. So I was walking down the aisle and just trying to find a good center seat and I saw (Kent Hance) and a colleague. I remember he had a sweater vest on and a newsboy cap and he just looked really nice”

Flores said she did not know who he was at the time or what a chancellor was.

Hance said they talked about her work, her family and he inquired where she went to college. But Hance said he found out she did not go to college.

That’s when Hance said he started talking to her about Texas Tech.

(left) Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec, and Erica Flores, general studies graduate from Dallas, speaking with Chancellor Emeritus Kent Hance.

Hance speaks about timing, proudest moments

“I said, ‘Look, if you only take one course and somebody asks where you go to college, you can always say I went to Texas Tech. You don’t have to tell them everything,'” Hance said. “So we talked about the college and what she could do online. I said, ‘Well, try it and see if you like it and see if you can do it and I bet you can do it. You can do it and it’ d be a great benefit to you.'”

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