Honoring Kate Wambach
Dr. Kathryn G. Wambach Excellence Fund
Thanks to a rekindled campaign effort by alumna Pam Lawrence and generous support from many, the Dr. Kathryn G. Wambach Excellence Fund has reached the minimum endowment level of $25,000. This initiative was launched in 2001 to honor the associate professor shortly before her untimely death from brain cancer.
It was Wambach’s idea to establish a fund to promote the professional development of faculty and students, especially in her areas of expertise, mental health and substance abuse.
“She enriched our lives and our community immeasurably, and her challenge to us to become better social workers, better citizens and better people still reverberates through time,” Lawrence says.
Friends honor Sheral Trousdale Skinner
Sheral Trousdale Skinner Endowed Graduate Fellowship in Social Work
In 2013, three classmates launched a letter-writing campaign to create a fellowship honoring the memory of their friend Sheral Trousdale Skinner, MSSW ’82.
“We think she would be pleased to help others follow their dreams, just like she did,” they say.
Trousdale Skinner persevered as a single mother returning to the educational field. Her goal was to make a better life for herself and her son. But she also pursued the equally important goal of making a difference in others’ lives in any way she could. Donors honored Sheral’s legacy by celebrating her generosity and social work values through supporting students who will follow in her footsteps.
A business perspective
Erin Koechel and Jeff Duchin Endowed Scholarship in Social Work
Erin Koechel and Jeff Duchin met as undergraduates at the McCombs School of Business while working at the Annual Giving call center. Since graduating in 1998, and later marrying in 2004, they have been avid supporters of UT. They have recently extended that support to the School of Social Work.
“We believe that social workers do some of the most important work in our society and wanted to provide financial assistance to someone who has committed their life to the hard work that comes with the job. We are happy to know there are people with the social conscience to take on these challenges and want them to know there are other out there that support them,” the Duchins say.
From Houston with love
Leon and Julie Stone Payne Family Endowed Scholarship in Social Work
Julie Stone Payne, BSW ’82 and her husband, Leon Mather Payne, MBA ’89, have recently joined the School of Social Work’s Advisory Council. When they learned that $25,000 could permanently endow an undergraduate scholarship, they jumped at the opportunity to give back to a school that has shaped their lives. Both have been actively involved with social service agencies and education efforts in their hometown of Houston, TX, and are excited to make this contribution to the School of Social Work.
“The world needs more social workers and we truly believe that what starts here can change the world,” they say. “We are honored to be a very small part of the School of Social Work’s distinguished legacy of excellence and opportunity.”
Why I give
Some may remember Bob Teague from the MSSW class of 1993 …Others as their MSSW Coordinator from 1993-1997. But did you know he is also a long-time donor? Bob not only elected to be a sustaining donor—making a monthly pledge though his credit card—but he and his husband Dan have also included a gift to the School of Social Work in their estate plan.
“UT Austin and the School of Social Work really did change my life both personally and professionally. Becoming a donor is a way to both give back and also support the growth of my profession,” Bob says.