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Spirit of Giving Helen Kleberg Groves

May 2006

by Tina Luther

Science and service go hand in hand with Helen Kleberg Groves. Not only is she the president of the Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation, but she is also a successful rancher who is an active participant in the bioscience community. In fact, it is not unusual to see her walking through labs, conversing with researchers and advocating for the discoveries and cures that lie in the very land she loves. With her philanthropic and scientific involvement, Mrs. Groves is a true champion for South Texas.

Throughout her life, Mrs. Groves has been passionate about ranching, horse breeding, racing and cutting. Her pioneering spirit led to many outstanding accomplishments, including her induction into the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame and the National Cutting Horse Associationís Hall of Fame, and being named the first lifetime vice president of the Texas Cattle Raisers Association. In addition to her several publications, she recently authored the book "Bob and Helen Kleberg of the King Ranch."

Tied to Mrs. Grovesí love of ranching is her love of service. Today, Mrs. Groves oversees the distribution of funds to support medical initiatives, community services, education, health service, arts and humanities, wildlife and veterinary and animal sciences. Mrs. Groves is an active member of The University of Texas Health Science Centerís Presidentís Council, and through the Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation she has been a great advocate and supporter of the Health Science Center. The Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation funds tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and virus research, and the Kleberg Scholars (internal medicine residents from the RAHC Medical Education Division).

"The Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation is proud to support The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in its focus to conduct research that is very much needed for South Texas," Mrs. Groves said. "This is certainly a very worthy cause."

This year, the 12 Kleberg Medical Scholars are conducting projects focusing on health issues that most affect the Lower Rio Grande Valley, such as diabetes, streptococcus infection and nutrition/obesity. Their work is so outstanding that many of the scholars have been invited to present at national meetings.

"South Texas would not be where it is today without the vision of Mrs. Groves and her family, and the support of the Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation," said Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., president of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. "What is particularly dynamic about Mrs. Groves is that she not only invests, but she investigates. Through her work and her gifts, she is truly making a difference."

Through her dedication and inspiration, Mrs. Groves is a Texas role model who, along with her children, is following in the footsteps of her father and mother, shaping the land she loves, but also helps mold the lives of countless scientists, researchers and health professionals. She continues to leave a legacy that will live for centuries to come.


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