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TWU Receives $3 Million From Stark Foundation

8/27/04


HOUSTON — A $3 million gift from the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation to Texas Woman’s University will help improve the quality of health care for Texans for generations to come. The foundation's gift will fund enhancements to TWU's new $37 million, state-of-the-art Houston Center urban campus.

The late Mrs. Stark was an alumna, former regent and long-time benefactor of the university. In recognition of Mrs. Stark’s long relationship with the university, the TWU Houston Center's college of nursing will be named the Nelda C. Stark College of Nursing.

“The Stark name has been associated with TWU for many decades,” said TWU Chancellor and President Dr. Ann Stuart. “Mrs. Stark was a staunch supporter of TWU and of better health care for Texans. It is only fitting that we should join together with the foundation in building TWU’s new campus in Houston.”

Mrs. Stark graduated in 1930 from the College of Industrial Arts (now TWU) with a bachelor’s degree in biology. In 1955, she was appointed to the TWU Board of Regents. She served on the board until 1975, including six years as vice chair.

In 1957, she received the first honorary degree ever awarded by TWU for “singularly and exceptionally high civic and humanitarian achievements.” In 1966, TWU regents named a new 21-story residence hall for Mrs. Stark in recognition of her service and generosity to the university. Regents again honored her in 1972 with the presentation of a special citation for distinguished service to the university.

Her generous financial support for the university included gifts for research and equipment, athletic scholarships, building enhancements and an endowed fund.

“Nelda and H. J. Lutcher Stark established the foundation to continue their commitment to education and improving the quality of life for Southeast Texans. In considering this grant, we felt it aligns nicely with the commitment of our founders,” said Walter Riedel, CEO and chairman of the board of the Stark Foundation. “TWU’s nursing school has the highest reputation — preparing students to go out in the world and meet the myriad of challenges they’ll face. Many of those nurses will locate in Southeast Texas and across the state, and the care they’ll provide will improve the quality of life of all of our people.”

The Nelda C. Stark College of Nursing will be the centerpiece of the new TWU Houston campus, located at the southern gateway to the Texas Medical Center. Construction on the state-of-the art campus will begin next year.

Recognizing changing needs in health care education, the new 10-story, 202,000 square-foot campus is designed to accommodate both current and future teaching methods and practices. Seminar rooms will be designed for traditional instruction, conferences, video conferencing and distance learning. Classrooms will be located on every academic floor of the building, which also will include several 120-seat lecture halls and a 250-seat auditorium. The new campus will allow TWU to more than double its Houston enrollment to 3,000 students.

TWU established its Houston campus in 1960 by expanding its nursing program to the Texas Medical Center. Today, the campus serves almost 1,200 students majoring in nursing, physical therapy, library science, health care administration, occupational therapy and nutrition.

“For more than 40 years, TWU’s Houston Center has been producing highly trained nurses who’ve touched the lives of countless Texans,” said Linda Hughes, M.D., Chair and Presiding Officer of the TWU Board of Regents. “The Stark Foundation gift will help TWU continue a mission of providing the best nursing education and producing the finest nurses.”

TWU has the largest nursing program in Texas, with more than 2,200 nursing students, and produces more new nurses than any other program in the state.

The Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation of Orange, Tx., is a private foundation established in 1961 to encourage and assist education and to improve and enrich the quality of life for Southeast Texans. The foundation strives to achieve the intent of its founders through grants to organizations seeking to improve area health care and to local organizations with a focus on special community and social needs.

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For Further Information Contact:

Roy Kron
Director of News and Information
Tel: (940) 898-3456
e-mail: rkron@twu.edu