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TWU announces Denton ISD, Glenda Brock Simmons and the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) as the 2010 Founders' Award recipients



Photo credit: Monte B

DENTON — The Denton Independent School District, retired TWU vice president for student life Glenda Brock Simmons and the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) will be honored for their exceptional service to the community and to Texas Woman’s University as the 2010 TWU Founders’ Awards recipients.

The awards will be presented at the annual TWU Founders’ Awards Scholarship Luncheon at noon Thursday, April 8, 2010, in Hubbard Hall on TWU’s Denton campus.

Seats for the event are $35 per person. Patron seats are available for $75. Benefactor tables for eight are available for $750. For information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Patrice Benfield Frisby at (940) 898-3867. Reservations are required by Friday, March 26.

“These honorees represent the best in service to others,” TWU Chancellor Ann Stuart said. “TWU is privileged to be among those who have benefited from their generosity and commitment.”

Proceeds from the luncheon benefit the TWU Chancellor’s Endowed Scholarships, the most prestigious scholarships awarded by the university. Established by Chancellor Stuart and other donors in 2000, these scholarships are the largest awarded by TWU, and the only academic scholarships that offer a stipend to recipients in addition to paying tuition and fees. They are awarded to TWU students on the basis of outstanding academic achievement, leadership and service in school and community activities.

The Denton Record-Chronicle and Hester Capital Management, L.L.C. are the presenting sponsors of the TWU Founders’ Awards Scholarship Luncheon. As of March 18, sponsors of the luncheon include: PointBank; Access 1st Capital Bank; AT&T; BBVA Compass; DATCU Credit Union; Bill DeBerry Funeral Directors; City of Denton; First State Bank; Meridian Bank Texas; Bettye B. Myers, Ph.D.; Ramey & King Insurance; Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton; Verizon; Blackridge; Chancellor and President, TWU; the TWU Former Students Association; the TWU Foundation; the TWU College of Nursing; and retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Mary Saunders.

Katherine Sharp Landdeck, Ph.D., TWU associate professor of history and coordinator of the TWU Civic Agency Initiative, will be the keynote speaker. Dr. Landdeck has done extensive research on the WASP and is writing a book about their contributions to American society. Her speech is titled “WASP: Pioneers in Women’s History.”

Denton Independent School District

The Denton Independent School District (Denton ISD) has been committed to providing a quality education since it was founded in 1882. The district is one of the fastest-growing school districts in North Texas, encompassing 180 square miles and contains all or parts of 15 cities, communities or major developments.

Denton ISD is a member of the elite International Baccalaureate (IB) World Schools and offers IB programs at Calhoun Middle and Denton High schools. Newton Rayzor Elementary School currently is a candidate IB school, and when it receives IB status Denton ISD will be one of only 14 school districts in North America to offer IB from pre-school through high school.

The majority of Denton ISD schools are rated Exemplary or Recognized with 10 campuses in each category. Community, parent and grandparent volunteers log in more than 300,000 hours annually to help students.

Denton ISD and TWU have a long history of working together to provide a quality education to both TWU and Denton ISD students. More than 50 TWU teacher certification candidates student teach with Denton ISD each year, and the school district has hired more than 100 TWU graduates to serve as teachers since 2007.

TWU also is one of Denton ISD’s Partners in Education adopters. TWU education majors tutor students, while TWU athletes mentor and motivate children from economically disadvantaged homes. Denton ISD high school juniors and seniors also enroll in dual courses at TWU.

Almost 90 percent of Denton’s high school graduates go on to two- or four-year colleges or universities or advanced training centers, with many attending TWU.

“One of the greatest compliments any educator or any educational system can receive is one that comes from colleagues in the same field,’” said Dr. Ray Braswell, superintendent for Denton ISD. “We work well with our higher education colleagues and continue to seek new avenues for partnerships. We are grateful of the opportunity we have in working with TWU and are honored and humbled by this award.”

Glenda Brock Simmons

For more than 50 years, Dr. Simmons has been involved with TWU as a student, teacher, administrator or volunteer. A 2004 Distinguished TWU Alumna, she received her baccalaureate and master’s degrees at TWU in 1961 and 1962, respectively. She served as TWU’s dean of students and vice president for student life for 14 years and was a member of the business and economics faculty for 22 years. When she retired from TWU in 1997, she was named vice president emeritus, the only person ever to hold such a title at TWU.

During her tenure at TWU, she was departmental academic adviser; faculty sponsor of Delians Literary-Social Club; homecoming chairperson; faculty representative to the TWU Foundation; chair of the TWU Welfare Committee; an active member and officer of her professional associations; adviser to the Student Government Association, Mortar Board and Alpha Chi; a representative to the Chamber of Commerce; and United Way Board member and secretary. She served as a reviewer for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and was a member of every TWU SACS reaffirmation committee during her tenure at the university.

Dr. Simmons was selected by students as outstanding faculty member numerous times and was named the Texas Business Education Teacher of the Year in 1973. Under her leadership, the TWU family housing program was established, the human relations program was initiated, and Neighbors Educated Together (NET), intercultural services, disability support services and conference services were established as university components.

Since her retirement, she has served as a member of the TWU Foundation Board, as a board member of Friends of the Family, and has been actively involved as a volunteer with Ann’s Haven Hospice, the RSVP tutoring program and numerous other community social service agencies. She has been a member of the TWU Former Students Association and served as the chair of the TWU Distinguished Alumni Awards Committee in 2007 and 2008.

“The Founders’ Award is just one more reminder of the many ways that my life has been enriched as a member of the TWU community,” Dr. Simmons said. “I appreciate the opportunities that I have had to be a partner in the education of TWU students as scholars, leaders and service providers.”

Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP)

The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) have given invaluable service to their country and the community for more than 60 years.

The WASP were established during World War II with the primary mission of flying non-combat military missions in the United States, thus freeing their male counterparts for combat missions overseas. They were the first women ever to fly American military aircraft and they flew almost every type of aircraft operated by the Army Air Force during World War II, logging more than 60 million miles.

More than 1,100 women joined the WASP, which was active from 1942 to 1944, and 38 of them were killed during duty. During their time in the WASP, they held civilian status, but followed military orders and military protocol. Their contributions went largely unrecognized and the women weren’t given veteran status until 1977.

The groundbreaking steps taken by the WASP paved the way for today’s generation of military female aircrew currently engaged in conflicts around the world.

The WASP received the Congressional Gold Medal — the highest and most distinguished award Congress presents to a civilian — March 10, 2010, during a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

“The Women Airforce Service Pilots courageously answered their country’s call in a time of need while blazing a trail for the brave women who have given and continue to give so much in service to this nation since,” said President Barack Obama last July when he signed the bill awarding the WASP the Congressional Gold Medal. “Every American should be grateful for their service, and I am honored to finally give them some of the hard-earned recognition they deserve.”

TWU is home of the official WASP archives. Surviving members of the WASP have been actively involved with TWU, sharing their history with faculty, staff and students, volunteering at the university and donating money to TWU.

“It is fitting that the WASP chose TWU to hold their records because of the ‘pioneering spirit’ the WASP women and the university share,” Dr. Landdeck said. “Holding this prestigious archive has helped put TWU on the map as a national authority for women’s history.”

Founders’ Awards

The first Founders’ Awards were presented in 1998 to honor organizations and individuals who have supported TWU. TWU celebrates Founders’ Day to commemorate the date the university was established by the state of Texas — April 6, 1901. TWU, the TWU Foundation and the TWU Former Students Association host the annual TWU Founders’ Awards Scholarship Luncheon.

Media Contact:

Amanda Simpson
Director of Media Relations

page updated 11/12/2015 5:12 PM