Officials mark grand opening of Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership

Chancellor Feyten, Senator Jane Nelson and Sue Bancroft cut a ribbon at the Jane Nelson Institute for Women's Leadership lobby.

Nov. 4, 2021 — DENTON — Today, state and higher education leaders celebrated the official opening of the Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership on Texas Woman’s University’s Denton campus. 

The institute is headquartered in historic “Old Main,” constructed in 1903. The university renovated the entrance level of the building to house the Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership. The institute is anchored by the Sue S. Bancroft Women’s Leadership Hall. Its interactive history exhibit showcases the contributions and leadership legacy of Texas women in politics and public policy with a focus on inspiring the young women leaders of tomorrow. 

“It is only fitting that the Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership and the Sue S. Bancroft Women’s Leadership Hall are housed in our most historic and iconic building. Texas Woman’s University holds a significant place in Texas history, and it is our intention that the institute with its exhibit hall and centers will hold similar historical import 100 years from now,” said Carine M. Feyten, chancellor of the Texas Woman’s University System.

The institute was originally created and funded by the Texas Legislature in 2015 as the Center for Women in Business. In 2017, the Legislature expanded the mission of the institute to include leadership training for women in the areas of business, public policy, public service and scholarly research. Additionally, in June 2017, Sue Bancroft donated $2 million to the center, and the Sue S. Bancroft Women’s Leadership Hall was later named in her honor. 

In November 2019, the TWU Board of Regents unanimously voted to name the institute in honor of state Sen. Jane Nelson, the first woman in Texas history to chair the Senate Finance Committee and to name the exhibit hall in honor of Bancroft, a former chair of the Texas Woman’s University Board of Regents and founding chair of the institute’s advisory council.

The institute is dedicated to preparing more women to take on successful roles in business and public service. Its 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 entrepreneurial skills for building thriving businesses and the framework needed for success in 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 4:00 PM, December 21, 2023