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TWU Houston Center Building Campaign

TWU's Houston History

Nursing at TWU is actually much older than its presence in Houston. In 1901 when the Legislature chartered the Girls' Industrial College, it officially gave the Board of Regents the responsibility to develop instruction in "trained nursing" and "caring for the sick." This mission has remained a part of TWU throughout its 102-year history.

In the fall of 1958, nursing enrollment at TWU's Institute of Health Sciences Dallas Center had reached capacity, and TWU Regents accepted an invitation to provide training for nurses at the Texas Medical Center in Houston, where the shortage of nurses was especially acute. According to the Houston Chronicle of Oct. 10, 1958, Texas (with 108 registered nurses per 100,000 persons) ranked 39th among all the states in the nation. The newspaper estimated that Texas had only 60% of the registered nurses it needed, and Houston had only 50%.

Although the Medical Center had extensive research, educational and treatment facilities, it had no program for training nurses. The Texas Medical Center provided a tract of land; grants from the MD Anderson Foundation and the Houston Endowment provided for a classroom building; and the Good Samaritan Club of Houston built a dormitory. In turn, TWU would cover instructional and administrative costs and provide up to 300 young women who wished to obtain a college degree in nursing.

The Houston Chronicle praised the project as "one of the finest examples of cooperation toward a desired goal that has been undertaken here for some time." The new building enabled TWU to double the number of nurses it could train, and as a result of grants from private sources, the facilities for the program cost the state nothing.

In the intervening years, TWU's Houston campus has become a full Institute of Health Sciences Center dedicated to educating health care professionals in the following disciplines:

  • Nursing: BS, MS, Ph.D.
  • Physical Therapy: MS, Ph.D.
  • Health Care Administration: MS
  • Occupational Therapy: MS, Ph.D.
  • Nutrition: MS
  • Library and Information Studies: MS

Fall 2005 total enrollment: 1,266

Historical information from Marking a Trail: A History of the Texas Woman's University, p. 168. Denton, TX: TWU Press.