May 2023

Boldly Go: News from Chancellor Feyten

Sometimes, the sky is not the limit

Dear Friends,

We ended the spring semester on about as high a note as possible. It was a whirlwind of activity leading to the end of May – and it resulted in plenty of good news to keep us beaming for quite some time.

Record gift to support new aviation program

Three women in pilot outfits and 1940-style hairstyles with the shadows of modern aircraft in the sky behind them

Texas Woman’s University just received a $15 million gift from the Doswell Foundation to support a new aviation program that will make the path to becoming a commercial pilot faster and less expensive – and will create avenues for women into the airline industry’s leadership ranks.

The gift is the largest Texas Woman’s has ever received from a foundation. The Doswell Foundation’s CEO, Beverly Fricke, was eager to honor her late husband, Kenneth Fricke, and his dream of starting a flight school. It just so happened that at Texas Woman’s, we too had dreams of building pathways for women into high-paying fields where they are historically underrepresented. Since women make up less than 5% of the commercial pilot workforce today, this was one of the top fields I hoped we could pioneer. 

There is still much work to do – establishing partnerships, hiring leadership, and building the faculty, for instance – but the action this month has created a strong buzz in the aviation world, which desperately needs more pilots to handle demand. Texas Woman’s is now poised to become the only public university in North Texas to offer the restricted airline transport pilot certification, cutting cost and time to degree. We expect to enroll our first student for this new program in fall 2024.

Another rousing graduation season

2023 TWU graduates at spring commencement

This year, we celebrated with about 2,670 very happy graduates from our Denton, Dallas and Houston campuses – our largest graduating class ever – during six ceremonies in Denton and a seventh in The Woodlands.

It takes about 3,000 faculty and staff to make these ceremonies possible and it thrills us to see the jubilance graduation evokes. At each of these ceremonies, we take a few moments to highlight some of our outstanding graduates who lead by example.

Among them was Wandaliz Turner, a U.S. Army veteran who was the first in her family to go to college and earn a degree and who did so while working full time, raising a family, overcoming health challenges, and maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA. She also found a position right here at Texas Woman’s, cultivating the next generation of women leaders in politics and public policy. Another outstanding graduate was Celia Nowlin, a classically trained pianist who just out of high school was awarded Texas Woman’s top scholarship to pursue her dream of working in music therapy. This fall, she will begin a highly coveted pediatric medical internship at Children's Minnesota Hospital. After a period of training and shadowing, she will have her own caseload at the pediatric hospital.

I encourage you to catch some of these extraordinary moments in the photo galleries and video recordings posted on our website.

Professor featured lecturer at Smithsonian museum

Kate Landdeck and the cover of her book, The Women With Silver Wings

We are always pleased to see our faculty members recognized for their outstanding contributions, and it was truly thrilling for the entire Texas Woman’s community to see that Katherine Landdeck, PhD, was the featured speaker recently at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Landdeck gave the Amelia Earhart Lecture on May 10 covering one of her favorite subjects, Jacqueline Cochran, a former Women Airforce Service Pilot, who flew many missions during World War II.

Landdeck has spent decades during her career researching this elite group of women pilots, who gave tremendous support to the war effort and were nearly forgotten in the decades that followed the conflict. It was Landdeck’s thorough research that brought to life many stories from that era that needed to be told. In fact, she wrote a book about it: The Women with Silver Wings: The Inspiring True Story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II.

A pilot herself, Landdeck is an Emmy Award-winning documentarian, a commentator on the TV series Mysteries of the Abandoned, and has been featured dozens of times in the national media for her expertise on women in aviation.

Finally, I share with you a picture of Student Government Association President Ashley Tang, who wrapped up her term in May then graduated. She had been an exemplary advocate for students and recently accompanied me on a trip to Austin to testify before a legislative committee. I am extremely proud of her and am certain that she, like so many other gifted leaders who develop their talents here, will continue to represent Texas Woman’s well into the future.

Chancellor Feyten and alumna Ashley Tang

As always, email me with your comments or questions. I am delighted that you have spent a few minutes with me today.

Warm Regards,

signature of Chancellor Carine Feyten






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Page last updated 10:29 AM, August 4, 2023