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Texas First Lady recognized as distinguished alumna
Word of a new endowment in her honor and the warm welcome of 700 guests awaited Texas First Lady Anita Perry at a Health Science Center gala luncheon sponsored by The USAA Foundation.
Mrs. Perry graduated from the School of Nursing in 1977. The Anita Thigpen Perry Endowment will support a new center within her alma mater. The Center for Community-Based Health Promotion in Women and Children will focus on improving the health of women and children in South Texas areas of greatest need, such as nutrition, health education and early childhood development.
Mrs. Perry, who had a 17-year career in the nursing profession before becoming First Lady, said she was overwhelmed by the announcement. "I am honored and humbled by your generosity," she said. "I have so many fond memories of going to school at the Health Science Center." She commended Dr. Janet Allan, dean of the School of Nursing, and her faculty and administration for their hard work and dedication.
"The School of Nursing at the Health Science Center ranks among the top 50 schools in the nation," she said. "Dean Allan, and Dean Patty Hawken before her, have brought the school to such prominence."
During her career Mrs. Perry has served in numerous professional roles: supervisor of surgery, instructor and pediatric coordinator, staff nurse in an intensive care unit, instructor in medical surgical nursing, in-service director and childbirth education instructor, RN consultant and hospital director of nurses.
Mrs. Perry also was presented the 2001 Distinguished Alumna Award and received recognition from community leaders, including former Gov. Dolph Briscoe.