Tom and Judy – Giving Hearts Day 2024
A relationship in which a person, thing or idea is linked or associated with something else.
— Oxford languages
There are no lack of connections in relation to the University of Jamestown, but there are those that tend to stand out. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone in Jamestown, or connected with UJ, that doesn’t know Tom and/or Judy Hager. Their names are synonymous with all things Jimmies and their love story was recruited right here on campus.
“The first time we met, Tom was a senior in high school and I was his admissions counselor in 1991. He was being recruited by Jerry Meier to play basketball and I was the admissions counselor for Fargo, where Tom was from.” It wasn’t until 1999, when Tom became the head baseball coach and Judy was the director of admissions, that their connection began to, well, connect. They worked together for a few years and started dating a couple years later. The rest is history.
If you ask Judy, Tom chose UJ because of his admissions counselor. But the ability to play both baseball and basketball was the deciding factor in Tom becoming a Jimmie. “It just felt right,” he said. Judy chose to work at UJ because of the family environment and close-knit culture it exuded.
With such a long and dedicated history on campus, there are plenty of memories for both to choose from. A favorite of Tom’s includes his fifth year and the good times at the Crow’s Nest. Judy says her favorite memories are attached to the support from the community when she was battling cancer. “Especially the UJ baseball team getting their butts handed to them in a biking for boobies fundraiser!”
When asked about how important the connections made at UJ are to them, they both replied with, “Well, we found each other!” Tom continued to explain how amazing all their connections are. “We spend so much time at work, so it’s important that it’s a place you like to be. And UJ is so very much made up by the people here.”
Judy is going into her 38th year with UJ and continues her dedication to campus in the Financial Aid office. After graduating Jamestown College in 1996, Tom put his History-Political Science / Physical Education degree to work, eventually becoming the Jimmie Head Baseball Coach. While both have their fair share of accolades, 2023 not only marked Tom’s 23rd year as head coach, he also earned 800 career wins.
Their love for each other and UJ is evident. “The definition of a Jimmie is pride, family, tradition, grit, grind, teamwork, selflessness and first class-ness,” prides Tom. “Top that all off with love and you’ve got a big win,” adds Judy.
When it comes to Giving Hearts Day, Tom and Judy encourage alumni and friends to do anything they can to help. “Anything you can give will make UJ a better place and will only benefit our students. And the students are why we do what we do.”
Connect with the University of Jamestown by giving anytime between now and February 8th. Go to UJ’s Giving Hearts Day site to make a donation or search ‘University of Jamestown’ at www.givingheartsday.org.
Donations will be matched up to the first $15,000!