December 8, 2023

Christie Cody, BBA ’82

Committed to a Transformative Bequest

Christie Cody fondly remembers playing in the halls of Incarnate Word College.

"He is just the most empathetic person I have ever met. He was a wonderful presence on campus."

Christine Cody

Her father Dr. Keith Tucker worked on the Broadway campus for over 42 years. During that time, she, her siblings and other children of employees would explore the then much smaller campus and visit with all the members of the community. Through her time exploring the buildings, visiting the lunchroom and interacting with students, faculty and employees, one sentiment struck her: “UIW felt like home.”

UIW’s Mission is one she was raised with; Her father’s dedication to it was part of what molded her into the woman she is today.

Christie with her father Dr. Keith D. Tucker, UIW Professor Emeritus, served as the director of counseling at Incarnate Word College, now UIW, before retiring in 2015. A beloved member of the community, Tucker’s commitment to the health and well-being of the student population and the University was evident from his involvement in the UIW community overall.

“He has the capacity, in a kind of natural sense, to perceive how you are doing, not by what you say but by your presence. He can interpret that,” shared Dr. Denise Doyle, then vice president of academic and student affairs, who oversaw counseling during Tucker’s tenure. “With Keith, it was as if he already knew how you were doing. Oftentimes I had the experience of going across campus, running into Keith and he would pick up almost instantly on whether I was having a good day or a bad day, whether I was angry or afraid. The second part of that was that somehow his response and his presence were very reassuring. He always uplifted me, and I don’t know that I have ever seen someone else with that same capacity.”

“He is just the most empathetic person I have ever met. He was a wonderful presence on campus,” said Doyle.

Christine CodyThose who witnessed his work at Incarnate Word say that it was his empathy that informed everything he did throughout his tenure. During his time at the University, Tucker taught courses in psychology, human development and cultural diversity, but his work didn’t stop there. He developed an intern training program for the counseling department, an outreach relationship with the international student population, initiated a career development component and orientation for new students, conducted stress management workshops, and was a member of the original committee for the CCVI Spirit Award. He assisted with drug and alcohol education programs and was also instrumental in the development and implementation of a Dispute Resolution program for University faculty, staff and students.

Christine Cody at UIWTucker also proved to be very resourceful when it came to meeting the needs of the students. Doyle shared an example of his ability to meet a tight budget while still expanding services for students through an internship program. “He went to St. Mary’s University and got interns who needed hours of counseling experience and their supervisors to come to the University,” she explained. “This doubled, if not tripled, the capacity of the counseling department.” The groundwork and expansion of the counseling program laid by Tucker continues to this day.

While at UIW Tucker met his wife Marveen Mahon, RN (stepmother to Cody). Mahon came to UIW in 1992 as assistant director of health services and after only one week, was quickly promoted to director. Tucker and Mahon met as colleagues, married, and after a collective 60 years of service, they celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary and retired in 2015. Today Mahon and Tucker are enjoying their retirement in Spring Branch, TX.

Beyond UIW and in the larger community, Tucker continued his service to others. He conducted five national workshops for the American Counseling Association as well as numerous state and local workshops. He volunteered for Bexar County Courthouse as a mediator, worked with the VA providing counseling for veterans and worked with suicidal clients with excellent outcomes.

As Doyle stated, “Keith was there for anybody who needed help, and in that, he embodied the Mission.”

Christie CodyDespite all he did for others, perhaps his greatest influence was on his daughter. Cody remembers watching students, faculty and leadership alike interacting with her dad and those interactions made his gifts apparent. “I just know that he touched so many lives. I would visit campus and people would always greet him with respect and love.”

Tucker inspires Cody and others through his attitude and relationships with people. He is not judgmental and accepts all. He values each individual's thoughts, ideas and heart. Cody shared that this “openness to different ways and his non-judgmental approach to dealing with others is beautiful” and this love for others has inspired Cody to give throughout her life.

After years of watching the University’s Mission take hold in her father’s heart, Cody joined him at Incarnate Word when it was time for her to attend college. After graduating with her bachelor's in business administration in 1982, she started a career in finance.

Her career has spanned approximately 33 years as a portfolio manager for high-net-worth individuals and charitable foundations. During the first 11 years of her professional life, Cody worked for the trust department of Boatmen’s Bank in Kansas City. The last 22 years of her career were with the Commerce Trust Company in Kansas City. When she retired in 2018, Cody was a senior vice president and the director of portfolio management for that organization with approximately $30 billion under management. Cody is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a Certified Financial Planner.

Christie married her husband Mark Cody in 2003. Mark, a graduate of Kansas State University, had a successful 30-year career in the finance industry as well. His last position was as a vice president of Commerce Trust Company in Kansas City. During his career, he worked for Arthur Young & Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Bank of America, Country Club Trust Company, and lastly at The Commerce Trust Company. Mark brought three wonderful children to the marriage and today they share two granddaughters as well.

Christie Cody’s commitment to service has been evident throughout her life. She has served on several charitable boards, including the Salvation Army of Greater Kansas City. She also served on the financial advisory board for the Endowment for the Central Region Salvation Army in Chicago. Cody shared that her service on boards has given her compassion for what it is to be the “least among us.”

“I certainly didn't come from wealth, but I had some advantages and a step up in life that a lot of people do not have,” she reflected. “And so, I think for me, I appreciate getting insight into the challenges that those of us who are not as advantaged must overcome to succeed. There are baked-in biases and disadvantages for those from a lower socio-economic place or different races. Service to others gave back to me far more than I felt like I gave. I appreciated each experience because I gained insight into what it is to struggle.”

Both Christie and Mark are now retired and living in Colorado, but that hasn’t stopped Cody from giving back. Instead, she felt called to return to the University that always felt like home. As of June 2023, Cody joined the UIW Board of Trustees and looks forward to supporting UIW leadership in all their endeavors.

She shared, “I have not been involved in academia. In terms of leadership opportunities, this is a new paradigm for me. I love it. It feels very natural because both of my parents were teachers. Over my career, I developed some investment and portfolio management expertise and if that can be a benefit to the University, that is my goal. I hope to contribute my expertise to support the Mission.”

The Mission, which harkens back to her father’s years with UIW, is ever-present. Though the University has grown and changed, the heart of UIW remains the same. Cody was touched by a recent quote shared by UIW President, Dr. Thomas Evans, “UIW is an institution with a stated goal of providing the type of transformational education that allows our students to secure a career that lifts their lives, their families and their communities.” Cody felt this articulated the vision well. “This is why I wanted to be a part of UIW. This speaks to what I want to do and what my dad wanted to do too.”

In honor of her love for her father and for UIW, Cody has committed to funding a UIW scholarship endowment through a transformative bequest. The Christie Tucker Cody Endowed Scholarship established in honor of Dr. Keith D. Tucker, UIW Professor Emeritus, will fund scholarships for undergraduate students in need.

“I feel like a lot of the challenges that we experience in our society right now come from a lack of opportunity for education. I want to contribute to the solution for that. That is the kind of legacy that I would want to leave personally.” Shares Cody, “For me, it's not about a personal legacy, but about making a difference in the long term. If I can give some students an opportunity for education that they would not have otherwise, then I have succeeded, and I think that is consistent with my dad's work.”