TWU names leadership institute, exhibit hall for pioneering women

A headshot of State Senator Jane Nelson.
State Senator Jane Nelson

Nov. 8, 2019 — HOUSTON — The Texas Woman’s University Board of Regents today renamed its Institute for Women’s Leadership, The Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership in honor of State Senator Jane Nelson.

The board unanimously passed the resolution in recognition of the many accomplishments that have marked Senator Nelson’s years of public service.

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.

The recommendation for both name changes was initiated by the Institute’s 23-member advisory council.

A headshot of Sue Bancroft.
Sue Bancroft, Institute Advisory Council Chair

“It is fitting that we recognize these two remarkable women by naming in their honor these important entities,” Board Chair Jill Jester said. “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.”

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.

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.”

About The Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership

The Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership at Texas Woman’s University is dedicated to preparing more women to take on successful roles in business and public service. The institute’s three specialized centers — Center for Student LeadershipCenter for Women Entrepreneurs and Center for Women in Politics & Public Policy — ensure women have the education to establish careers as successful C-suite executives, the skills for building entrepreneurial businesses and the framework needed to run for public office. The institute and its centers provide multiple platforms for women to advance their leadership skills and experience through education, mentoring and networking.

Media Contact

Matt Flores
Assistant Vice President, University Communications

Page last updated 3:53 PM, December 21, 2023