TWU leadership institute renamed in Nelson’s honor

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The Texas Woman’s University Board of Regents last week renamed its Institute for Women’s Leadership to be called The Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership in honor of State Senator Jane Nelson, (R-Flower Mound).

The board unanimously passed the resolution in recognition of the many accomplishments that have marked Nelson’s years of public service, according to a news release from TWU. The institute is dedicated to preparing more women to take on successful roles in business and public service.

Nelson, whose Senate district includes portions of Denton and Tarrant counties, is the first woman in Texas legislative history to chair the Senate Finance Committee and is currently the highest-ranking member of the Texas Senate. In 2019, she was also the first woman in Texas history to preside over opening day in the Texas Senate. Nelson is a businesswoman and former teacher who served two terms on the State Board of Education before becoming a senator, and is highly respected throughout the state for her leadership on health care policy and the Texas budget, according to TWU.

The board of regents also voted unanimously to name the Institute’s principal exhibition hall the Sue S. Bancroft Women’s Leadership Hall in honor of Sue Bancroft, community leader and former chair of the TWU Board of Regents. Bancroft currently serves as chair of the Institute’s advisory council and has been a longtime and significant supporter of the university.

“It is fitting that we recognize these two remarkable women by naming in their honor these important entities,” said Board Chair Jill Jester. “Their contributions to Texas Woman’s University, our region and the Lone Star State are shining examples of the kind of Texas leadership that will be celebrated by the Institute.”

Bancroft is a retired North Texas music professor and former professional musician and has been a longtime community philanthropist. An exhibit hall currently under construction at the historic Old Main Building on the Denton campus, which will house an interactive digital history showcasing pioneering Texas women, will carry her name. The facility is scheduled to open in spring 2020.

“Jane Nelson and Sue Bancroft have played key roles in the development of Texas Woman’s and their contributions to the university will inspire and be appreciated by generations of our students to come,” said TWU Chancellor Carine M. Feyten. “We expect the Institute and the exhibit hall to be vibrant entities that will advance the already significant legacies of these outstanding women.”

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Mark Smith

Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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