Chancellor Feyten's conference remarks
Good morning, and thank you all for coming today to hear about, and celebrate, a historic moment for Texas Woman’s University. My name is Carine Feyten, and I am the proud Chancellor and President of TWU. For my colleagues at our Houston health sciences campus, our colleagues on our main campus in Denton, and our alumni from around the world joining us via livestream on the internet, a very special hello and thanks for being with us.
I am also joined here this morning by a number of our colleagues in Dallas, special friends, area leaders and other North Texas officials. And, of course, we have invited distinguished members of the media here and across the U.S. and beyond to join us today as well. Thank you ALL for joining us, particularly as Tropical Storm Bill decided to join our party today, making the roads a lot more treacherous to navigate…. Thank you!
I am so grateful for your presence, because our Texas Woman’s University announcement today is, as I mentioned, historic. Texas Woman’s University has received a generous $10 million gift—nearly double our next largest single gift (in 2006), which resulted in the creation of this [GESTURE] TWU T Boone Pickens Institute of Health Sciences building where we stand today.
What makes this gift is strategically important to TWU…because it will ultimately engage every one of our academic departments on every one of our three campuses. It will foster a level of interdisciplinary research and student learning opportunities that few universities have achieved with a single gift. And this collaboration is solely focused on how we can advance the futures and successes of our young people across this great country, and even beyond.
What makes this gift even more special is that it is a gift that will keep on giving, with an anticipated $1 million in royalties every year for the next decade. It also comes with a unique opportunity for our academic community to understand and apply clinical research information on cases involving young students and adults that will undoubtedly attract researchers’ attention across the globe. We believe this perspective will expand in size and scope as those researchers contribute their perspectives and data to our own understandings, and this collaborative information is believed to be the largest current source of this information. (And I can assure you this complies with all privacy rules and regulations.) This gift will have an impact across Texas, across the U.S. and increasingly around the world. And perhaps most importantly, it will advance schools’ abilities to evaluate and address young students’ cognitive abilities—from gifted children through those with special needs. I hope I have piqued your curiosity!
Today I am pleased to announce the creation of the Woodcock Institute for the Advancement of Neurocognitive Research and Applied Practice that will be headquartered at Texas Woman’s University, on our Denton campus. This Institute will be funded from the dissolution of the Woodcock- Munoz Foundation in Nashville, TN, and the creation of a new Richard W. Woodcock Endowment Fund at TWU. On behalf of the entire TWU community, I extend special thanks and gratitude to the Woodcock-Munoz Foundation and to the world-renowned Dr. Richard Woodcock for this generous gift.
The additional annual royalties I mentioned will come from the fourth edition of the Woodcock-Johnson test of cognitive achievement and assessment --one of the world’s leading instruments for measuring cognitive ability, oral language skills and achievement for individuals from 2 years old through adulthood. Many of you in this room may have even taken the test and not known the name… To date, previous editions of this test have been used by school officials and psychologists to evaluate millions of children in the U.S., Canada and in Spanish-speaking countries. It’s even been translated into Farsi and is being used for the first time in Jordan. The Woodcock-Johnson tests are widely known and highly respected, and TWU is SO very honored to become home to an Institute that will encompass and extend the research and wisdom of Dr. Richard Woodcock’s life’s work.
Now, how did this all come about— why did Dr. Woodcock choose TWU as home for this Institute? Well I am proud to say we have talented faculty at TWU, and one of them—Dr. Daniel Miller, whom some of you may know as “The Father of Texas School Psychology,” has collaborated on numerous research projects with Dr. Woodcock for many years. We recruited Dan to TWU in 1990 to establish an area of specialization in school/pediatric neuropsychology, and he has done that and so much more--culminating in today’s historic announcement for us.
Dan has served as the founding president of the Texas Association of School Psychologists, as well as the Texas State Delegate to the National Association of School Psychologists, and also as President of the National Association of School Psychologists. And the funny thing of it is, Professor Miller just retired in May as chair of our psychology and philosophy department when this wonderful gift arose from the Foundation, created by his friend and colleague, Dr. Woodcock. So now Dan will return to TWU on Sept. 1 as the founding director of the Woodcock Institute. And Dr. Woodcock also will join TWU as a research professor, conducting guest lectures and collaborating on research across TWU’s three campuses and beyond.
In other words, the Woodcock Institute at TWU will present statewide, national and international opportunities for health sciences professionals, psychologists, educators and many others working in fields related to neurocognitive research and applied practice, and the communities they serve. And for us, we can imagine that the phenomenal reputations and pioneering work of both Drs. Woodcock and Miller also will draw additional talented faculty and high-quality students to TWU.
Now I’d like to introduce Dr. Dan Miller, who will tell you a bit more about what the new Institute will do. He also will introduce you to his long-time friend and colleague, the world-renowned Dr. Woodcock. My special thanks to you, Dan—and also to you, Dr. Woodcock, and the Foundation for this very special and generous gift. Dan…
[Dr. Miller speaks for approximately 5 minutes, and introduces Dr. Woodcock, who will briefly address “why TWU.” After Dr. Woodcock speaks, you will return to the podium to conclude the press conference.] [After Dan speaks:
Dr. Woodcock, and again to the board of your Woodcock-Munoz Foundation, thank you so very much for choosing TWU as the home for your Institute. We are deeply honored and grateful, and we extend the warmest of TWU welcomes to you. And Dan, we are so glad to have you coming back to campus to work with all of us again. I know that your leadership and professionalism will take this new Institute to heights we cannot yet begin to imagine.
Now I’d like to introduce you to the Mayor Pro-Tem of Denton, who is representing the mayor of Denton who wished he could be here to join us—but given the weather challenges we’re dealing with, we understand!
So, thank you all for joining us for our exciting announcement today. I’d like to invite members of the media to come up and speak with us if you’d like.… And for the rest of you, please feel free to join members of the TWU community in the lobby for some light refreshments and to celebrate this momentous occasion.