Dr. Feyten sits at her desk wearing a face mask.

Dear Friends:

The promise of a bright 2020 turned dim quickly when the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the world. In a week’s time, our faculty and staff pivoted to a mostly digital environment and students adjusted abruptly.

Fortunately, Texas Woman’s pioneered solid distance-education programs decades earlier, making for a smooth transition. Soon, creative minds discovered new approaches to delivering quality instruction. Choir practice moved to an acousticallyfriendly parking garage and Shakespearean sonnets were performed in a drive-in setting.

In a year marked by unprecedented challenge, we defied conventional wisdom. We enrolled more students, launched new programs, acquired more institutional and faculty honors and even expanded the footprint of our Denton campus. And our alumni, whose collective economic impact on Texas is an estimated $1.84 billion, contributed mightily to our state’s vitality.

Fitting to our legacy, many of our faculty, staff and students became health heroes. Some raised funds to purchase badly needed PPE for health care workers; others helped with COVID testing efforts and patient care; and some of our alumni traveled to COVID hot spots to backfill hospital staffing shortages.

We distributed $1 million in grants to help women entrepreneurs keep their Texas businesses afloat. And when social distancing concerns forced us to scratch our traditional commencement activities, we produced unique, safe graduation ceremonies so exuberant graduates could celebrate with their loved ones close by.

We summoned every ounce of resilience, creativity and compassion from our campuses in Denton, Dallas and Houston, and as the months passed, it was clear that higher education institutions everywhere were weathering the same pandemic storm — just in different boats. Our fluid nature allowed us to find a path forward.

This brochure is a tribute to all who demonstrated perseverance in helping advance Texas Woman’s. They inspire us in all they do.

Carine M. Feyten, PhD
Chancellor and President

Dr. Feyten sits at her desk wearing a face mask.

We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat.

Chancellor Carine M. Feyten, PhD, Chancellor and President

Anchoring a distinctive position

Adding to its longtime distinction of being the nation’s largest woman-focused university, a “best-value” institution and an innovator in health, education and business, Texas Woman’s recently was recognized as the most diverse institution in Texas (fifth most diverse in the U.S.) and a leader in online graduate programs in nursing and education.

TWU has a profound impact on Texas’ vitality. In addition to having an annual economic impact of $1.8 billion, we confer half of all doctoral allied health degrees and 24% of doctoral nursing degrees from Texas public universities each year, and 85% of our graduates find jobs or enroll in graduate school within a year of getting their degree.

Nation's "Best Colleges for Students with Children"
in Texas for student diversity, 5th in the nation (tied)
in DFW area for graduates' earnings vs. cost

Changing course

TWU's choir practices in the parking garage to follow COVID safety guidelines.

Adapting activities to suit safety The pandemic forced a quick transition in lesson plans across all Texas Woman’s campuses, but it was faculty and student ingenuity that led to creative approaches for conducting otherwise routine activities while maintaining safety. Perhaps there were no better examples of this innovation than those demonstrated by the university’s creative community.

The Department of Dance held is first virtual performance, “1200 Seconds,” a collection of 20 60-second dance solos streamed online to viewers. Students showcased choreographed talents from living rooms, kitchens, garages and back yards to express life under lockdown.

The parking garage in Denton’s Oakland Complex was a perfect acoustical setting for the Chamber Singers and Concert Choir, which delivered precision performances to delighted visitors. A few hundred feet away, a parking lot was the stage for a drive-in event featuring theatre students performing Shakespearean sonnets as patrons watched from their vehicles and listened through their car stereos.

Cresting new heights

Advancing health heroes

A TWU student after receiving their COVID vaccine shot on campus.

Heroes do wear masks

When COVID cases spiked across the U.S. early in 2020, health care workers faced a perilous shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). Fuqin Liu, Ph.D., an associate professor of nursing, mobilized fellow health care professionals to raise funds to purchase PPE for first responders throughout the region. Within weeks, the volunteer effort raised $239,500 and collected hundreds of thousands of pieces of critical gear for health providers in Texas and Oklahoma.

Nursing alumni volunteer at COVID hot spots

Furloughed from clinics that offered mostly elective surgeries, nurses Courtney Waddle (BS ’12) and Maybelle Anderson (BS ’12) volunteered to ease front-line staffing shortages at hospitals in COVID-ravaged New York City. They provided critical support to patients treated in hallways; relatives unable to visit dying family members; and health care workers forced to re-use soiled protective gear.

Students find reward in pandemic response

Dallas and Houston nursing students got an experience no textbook could match in supporting the COVID response. Students took up to 600 daily calls at centers to offer guidance to concerned, symptomatic patients. “I am glad I’m able to provide a valuable service during this difficult time,” said Houston nursing student Douglas Schwartz.

COVID vaccinations given by TWU nursing students
Nursing PhDs conferred by Texas public universities from TWU
Pass rate on state licensure exam for TWU nursing graduates

Channeling student success

A synchronized swimmer in the on campus pool.

Keeping students healthy in mind, body and spirit has taken on new meaning during the pandemic. TWU integrated a psychologist with first-year residential students and used grant funds to hire a part-time case manager who helped students in COVID-19 quarantine and isolation. Despite facing many challenges, students enjoyed opportunities to connect with each other during Block Party, Pioneers on Ice and other socially distanced events and found ways to excel in and out of the classroom.

With new competitive sports teams slated to start soon, including synchronized swimming, TWU Athletics continues to make a splash. Although fall sporting events were canceled, student-athletes carried forward their winning streak by posting a combined grade point average of more than 3.0 for the 77th consecutive semester.

Undergraduate students transferred to TWU
Graduation rate for foster care youth (vs 3% state average)
Employed or enrolled in grad school within 1yr of graduation

Crossing the finish line

A TWU student at the Texas Motor Speedway graduation ceremony.

COVID-19 forced the university to scratch plans for an in-person graduation ceremony in Spring 2020, paving the way for a one-of-a-kind graduation celebration in December. All graduates in 2020 were invited to take a victory lap at Fort Worth’s Texas Motor Speedway as part of the university’s two-day drive-thru commencement ceremonies. At the finish line, graduates exited their cars and crossed the racetrack’s checkered stripe while hoisting their diploma covers. It was an exhilarating experience for nearly 1,300 pandemic-weary graduates and their families who participated in the event.

Another drive-thru event was held in Houston at Heavy Construction Systems Specialists.

Propelling women leaders

Making waves

Deepening partnerships

Collaboration is integral to success, and TWU has many partnerships that produce impactful programs benefiting students, faculty and communities. Among them is the Dallas County Promise, a tuition-assistance pact with high schools that improves student recruitment, access and retention.

Oakley and the Denton courthouse in the background.

The Go Center is a mobile college-and career-readiness information hub, and TWU has partnered with 17 high schools to provide students with essential resources to help them chart a post-secondary school path.

TWU GO center staff stand outside the GO truck with Oakley.

As the first Texas university to offer distance education in speech-language pathology, TWU introduced innovative coursework to rural enclaves. The partnership with the Texas Education Agency now involves 19 Education Service Centers, helping educate critically needed speech-language pathologists across Texas.

A parent and child work in an office setting with a speech language pathologist.

As part of its $900,000 Blockchain Innovation Challenge, the American Council of Education awarded a grant to a TWU-lead team establishing a shared platform that gives students access to portable educational records they can share with schools or prospective employers.

A woman in an office setting with data graphics around her.

Overcoming winter’s spell

TWU's library and a statue covered in snow.

Much like the pandemic was the “storm” we all weathered, a late-winter freeze caught most of Texas unprepared for the onslaught of lingering challenges: power outages, failing generators, broken pipes, water-logged facilities and food shortages.

All three TWU campuses were impacted in varying degrees, but the university emerged and transitioned immediately into recovery mode. It was a grim reminder of Mother Nature’s force – but a revelation, too, of TWU’s resilient spirit.

Navigating growth

Seeing the glass half full

A maroon paper boat floats on water.

Texas Woman’s has now endured two pandemics.

(The first was the Spanish flu in 1918). But despite the most recent turbulent waters, the university navigated a successful path forward to become an even brighter beacon. New challenges are now on the horizon.

The university has embarked on an expansion initiative that will give our Denton, Dallas and Houston campuses greater impact on Texas through expanded partnerships, increased programming and robust research.

We have enhanced our role in the health industry with a wider breadth of programs – such as health administration, music therapy and nutrition – and we are producing more professionals in disciplines critical to Texas.

Likewise, we have broadened the scope of educational programs, such as bilingual and special education, to better serve our state’s changing demography. We look forward to our growing role of making Texas prosperous, and we do so with renewed vigor and purpose.

Read FLUID: Leading through a pandemic