Serving in the Navy for four years, Dennis Pendley is no stranger to sacrificing his time and helping others when they are in need.
Pendley has been the General’s Store manager since the end of the summer while also balancing life as a student at Texas A&M University-San Antonio.
He is studying to earn a bachelor’s degree in business with a concentration in entrepreneurship and is set to graduate in December 2022. Pendley received a job offer for a management position at a family owned general store in Alaska. He and his wife plan on moving to Alaska December 2023.
Pendley finds joy in seeing the good and relief the General’s Store gives to A&M-San Antonio students and faculty members who receive assistance from the university’s food pantry.
Pendley also finds the store to be helpful to him and his family while he is still a student.
“I am only getting 19 hours at A&M right now so I currently have insecurities at the moment, so the store does help,” Pendley said.
The General’s Store has helped students and staff since 2015 and Pendley has been keeping it stocked along with the help of donations and fresh vegetables from the school’s garden for the past two years.
Pendley was also the garden and greenhouse manager prior to becoming the General’s Store’s manager.
“I thought the store was a really unique concept, but to run it is actually kind of neat. It’s a lot of fun and I get to meet a lot of people and of course help them out because that’s what I truly like to do, is help others out,” Pendley said.
During an interview at the General’s Store, Pendley described how students are constantly donating supplies for the store.
A minute later, a female student came by to drop off a tote bag full of hygiene products.
“Oh, look, here come some supplies now,” he said.
Pendley, 53, balances his life while being a student, employee, store manager and member of other organizations. He is also involved in Delta Chi, Student Veterans of America, National Society of Leadership and Success, Silver Liners Mentorship, the Student Government Association, TAU sigma National Honor Society and American Legion Riders.
American Legion Riders is a nonprofit organization that helps raise money for veterans who are homeless or may have lost their family during the war. Pendley, who was in the Navy from 1991 to 1995, would ride his own motorcycle and help out in any way that he could when the organization had events.
But the busy lifestyle doesn’t seem to slow Pendley down. In fact, he thrives off of it.
“I don’t know why but it seems like the more pressure I have, the better I do. If I keep myself busy, I can always accomplish things,” Pendley said.
During his time serving in the Navy he was an aviation electronic technician stationed at Belle Chasse, Louisiana. He was an E-4 third class petty officer when he got out of the Navy. Being in the Navy taught him how to do his job well, how to work with others and early management as he was in charge of 15 airmen during his service time.
“After seeing everything on the TV when Desert Storm broke out I felt compelled to serve and do whatever I could to make a difference,” Pendley said.
Others who have worked beside Pendley including two Delta Chi fraternity brothers, who have been inspired and are grateful for all Pendley does for students and faculty.
Marketing senior Liandre De la Uso is the marketing manager for the Mays Center as well as a student.
De La Uso was a marketing associate and Pendley was the campus gardening manager when they began to work together.
“Dennis is a really good friend and even sometimes a mentor to me,” De la Uso said. “He’s one of our non-traditional students here at TAMUSA but outside of work I’ll talk to him about life and he’s given me a lot of advice about life,” De la Uso said.
While De la Uso is a member of Omega Delta Phi Fraternity Incorporated, Pendley is a brother in the Delta Chi Fraternity. Delta Chi is a service-oriented fraternity that recruits male students who are goal-oriented and have integrity. Members of the fraternity gain the community service hours they need to for the requirement of the fraternity. Pendley is the alumni affairs officer of Delta Chi.
“Dennis is not just involved on campus but with the community as well. He volunteers often with the food bank, Texas Diaper Bank and our community partners as well,” De la Uso said.
Pendley’s family is also consistently sacrificing their time to volunteer and help wherever needed. His wife occasionally volunteers alongside him. His son Caleb is 18 years old and just joined the Marines to follow in his father’s military footsteps.
“Dennis is not only a dedicated coworker and colleague but he’s also a great friend. He’s almost like a brother to me and I’m proud to be amongst someone that is constantly helping with the community, “ De la Uso said.
Caring, attentive and provider are just a few words that history senior Vincent Marchini uses to describe Pendley.
Marchini frequently visits and volunteers at the General’s Store. Marchini is a student employee in facilities and construction for A&M-San Antonio.
“The store takes a financial burden off of me because I know I can go in once a week to get groceries. My son is always so excited when I get home to show him what I brought from the General’s Store,” Marchini said.
Marchini and Pendley are also fraternity brothers in Delta Chi so he is able to volunteer at the General’s Store to gain the hours he needs.
He recalls a time when Pendley asked him if he needed anything that wasn’t already in the store. Marchini asked for hygiene products and within a week Pendley had stocked it with those products.
“Dennis goes above and beyond for the people of Texas A&M,” Marchini said. Thank you for being there for me and my family.”
This story was updated at 1:06 p.m. on Dec. 6 to correct De La Uso is a member of Omega Delta Phi, not Delta Chi.