Jasmin Richardson ('09) | Theatre


Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre
from Houston, Texas


The place I needed to be

A native of Houston, Jasmin grew up knowing about ACU – her dad was a football letterman and business accounting graduate. He never pressured her to attend, but he did facilitate a campus visit during high school that changed her perceptions about ACU. As Jasmin auditioned for the theatre department, went to a play, saw her first Sing Song, and met other theatre majors, she became convinced that she needed to be at ACU. She laughingly said, "Usually drama students are considered geeks, but when I saw how Lara Seibert ('06) and Ben Jeffrey ('06) interacted with the 'normal' student body, I knew this was the place I needed to be!"


The spiritual factor

Jasmin felt welcome from her first time on campus. And the spiritual aspect of life at ACU has meant so much to her. She said, "I love God. I like being a part of chapel – I feel the honesty in it.  In Friday chapel, hearing people worshipping God without anything extra is so sincere.  Hearing everyone's voice in communion and the spiritual aspect of being in classes – I had never taken Bible classes until I got to ACU – was so different.  And I was able to express myself!" She added, "I think it says something about ACU when everyone here loves God and worships Him every day."


How can I name just one?

When asked about relationships that shaped her time at ACU, Jasmin had difficulty choosing from the many who have helped her. She mentioned Anna Peters ('09), a peer and campus leader who influenced her so much. Donna Hester has been her theatre advisor and a faculty member.  Donna helped take on a "motherly" role while Jasmin was far from Houston, helping with things like finding a doctor, car registration, or dinner (the famous crab alfredo!) in the Hesters' home. She said, "These are two people who have prayed for me since I've been here."


Scholarships and networks

As a member of LYNAY, a community-based volunteer group under the leadership of Dr. Gary McCaleb ('64), Jasmin received the LYNAY scholarship for three years. In addition, she received the Harold and Jeanette Lipford Endowed Scholarship, the Women for ACU Endowed Scholarship, the Gaylan J. Collier Perfoming Arts Endowed Scholarship, the Alpha Psi Omega/Melpomenean Student Scholarship, the Mary Prudie Story Brown Endowed Scholarship, and the Fred Barton Endowed Scholarship. When asked how this financial help impacted her, Jasmin said, "Had I not received these scholarships, I really would not be here speaking to you!"

Jasmin also spoke of the way LYNAY helped her in ways far beyond scholarship assistance.  Dr. McCaleb's mentorship opened many doors for her, helping her navigate her post-college plans and network with the right connections.


Thank you for the sacrifice!

In thinking of the donors whose gifts made her education possible, Jasmin talked about what a thrill it would be to perform for them – to be able to say, "Look, this is what you helped me do!" She would love the chance to hug them and thank them for doing something very special – believing enough in ACU to donate, even when they didn’t know who the money would specifically help.  "People don’t have to do that, especially now with the economy making it so hard for people to sacrifice like that. But I just say, thank you for the sacrifice!"


Into the great beyond

After playing major roles in "Aida," "All Shook Up," "Shorts!" and "Little Shop of Horrors," among other ACU productions, Jasmin has gone on from Abilene to pursue her career in musical theatre.  In the summer of 2009, she began work as a performer with Norwegian Cruise Lines.  In January 2010, Jasmin will be performing in Las Vegas in a tribute show dedicated to the Supremes, and she hopes to resume cruise ship work after that production is complete.  It’s good to know that she'll take ACU with her in the many roles she has ahead.


What advice would you have for prospective students?

Come with an open mind and try to be part of as many organizations as you can. Volunteer!  There are so many fun things – I did Meals on Wheels and I loved the people I saw every week; I didn't feel like it was a job. Go to chapel! They really count those chapel credits. And remember - The Bean isn't as bad as you think!


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