Texas Tech University

A Monumental Climb – Perseverance

Allen Ramsey

May 12, 2023

Dube Family - recreated photo

A family motto helped build the foundation for Lindsay Dube’s success.

There's a brick just outside the Frazier Alumni Pavilion with “The Dube Family” inscribed above the year 2006. The word “perseverance” sits just below the year. 


Perseverance is a family motto, one Lindsay's parents, Travis and Michelle, hold to dearly. 

They are proud Texas Tech University alumni. The brick is theirs, though the motto is one shared by the entire family. The Dube family, Lindsay and her younger brother Cooper included, is a living embodiment of perseverance. 

Travis, like Lindsay, has muscular dystrophy. The genetic disorder passes from mother to son and father to daughter. But that is just part of the family's story of perseverance. Michelle suffers from Crohn's disease and has fought battles with her own body. 

They don't talk about their health much. As Travis tells it, the diseases are not something they care to draw attention to and certainly not something they're letting stand in the way of living their best lives. 

In fact, Michelle's battle with Crohn's only comes up when they're explaining their family motto and their love of Texas Tech, and then only because it's a key element of the story. 

The Dube family
The Dube family.

During Travis and Michelle's time in graduate school they faced a health crisis. Michelle was losing weight rapidly and had to be hospitalized. At the time they didn't know why, but she dropped nearly a quarter of her weight in a matter of weeks. 

They were sure it would force them to withdraw from school. 

“I went to our professors at the time and explained to them that Michelle was really sick,” Travis explained. “The doctors diagnosed her with Crohn's disease. She's going to be in the hospital. Could be two weeks, could be a month. We weren't sure at the time, and she was going to need to withdraw. We were going to need to drop the classes she was in. Probably drop the program. And then I was probably going to have to do the same thing. 

“And the professors, without question, without batting an eye, said, ‘No, you're not going to drop. You and Michelle are going to get through this. We're going to get you through this. She can do all of the coursework from the hospital however long that may be, and then you're going to continue to come to class and we're going to work with you.' And they did.”

Travis and Michelle made it through the program together. 

“Texas Tech did not have to do that,” he said. “The professors and the university chose to do that. I guess they saw something in us. I don't know. But they allowed us to continue the program and we both graduated with our master's degrees from Texas Tech. And so, we as a family persevered through that. That word perseverance has just stuck with us.”

Travis and Michelle are both successful educators. Travis teaches ag, and the family still runs cattle on its farm. Neither Crohn's nor muscular dystrophy does much to stop them from living life. It's not the family way. 

There are limits, of course. There's a level of care taken not to over-stress muscles and nutrition is a big deal. But, if anything, the limitations have brought the family closer. 

“You know, any challenge life throws at you, you just have to persevere,” Michelle said. “It doesn't matter what roadblocks are ahead of you, you find a way to get around them. And as a family, we persevere, and we've taught our kids to do that.”

It's easy to spot the resilience in Travis and Michelle. There's no quit here. No excuse to be made. If there's a job to do – be it running a farm, educating students or raising children – the Dube's will find a way to get it done. 

It's a trait they've clearly passed down to Lindsay, but it's not the only thing they passed down. 

Lindsay and her dad

“That child came out of the womb with her guns up,” Travis said with a laugh. “She knew that she wanted to come to Texas Tech as a small child. Was there some brainwashing that took place? Probably, a little bit.”

Michelle picked up the thought: “Did she wear more red as a baby? Absolutely.”

“On laundry day the red and black stacks of clothes were real in our home,” Travis continued. 

“We were, you know, an hour away from Texas A&M,” Michelle said. “There was very little maroon in our life.”

But their love for Texas Tech extends well beyond their own experiences here. 

As teachers themselves, Travis and Michelle firmly believe Texas Tech does things the right way and wanted their children to have the kinds of experiences this university provides.

“Tech pulls kids in,” Michelle explained. “They don't just let kids sit in an auditorium listening to their lecture and walk out. They go and try to make those relationships.”

Travis agreed. 

“As an educator, sometimes you've got to you see potential in somebody,” he said. “And you grab them by the sleeve and say, ‘Hey, come with me. You're going to be really good at this. You may not know it right now, but you're about to be a changed person if you follow the direction I lead.'

“Tech does that with kids. They have opportunities for kids, create opportunities for kids to do more than just the day-to-day classroom. There's so much that goes on outside of the classroom. It's part of the learning environment.”

Little did they know how well their daughter would take to the lessons taught outside the classroom. She's tested herself to the fullest, even to the point of being on a bike-packing trail in New Mexico during spring break, just weeks before her graduation.

“The hardest thing that educators have to face day-to-day is students that have a tremendous gift from God that don't capitalize on that,” Travis said. “I think Lindsay is one that has capitalized on all of her strengths, from her academic, scholastic aptitude to the ability to do this bike ride.

“There's nothing that she hasn't done that she wanted to do. So that would be my message to others, to take the gifts that you've been given and maximize that.”

They're proud parents. Proud of the daughter they raised and the astonishing young woman she has become. 

And there's as much pride in how she got there as there is where she's gotten to. 

“She's made our life easy,” Michelle said. “It's awesome to see her grow and flourish and it's hard to believe that she's getting ready to graduate when it seems like yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital.”

Outside the Frazier Alumni Pavilion another brick with the Dube name on it has been added. 

Lindsay bought it this year. She had it inscribed with her name and the word “Thrive.”

It's not the old family motto. It's a building block from it. 

“To me, it's like they had to persevere so I could thrive,” Lindsay said. “So that's what I'm doing.”

For more on Lindsay Dube please read the first chapter in this series: A Monumental Climb

And the final piece of her story, here: A Monumental Climb: Thrive.