UT School of Social Work receives largest donation ever
The St. David's Foundation has awarded grants of more than $2 million to the School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin.
In support of increasing the number of social workers in Central Texas, the St. David's Foundation awarded about $2 million to the University of Texas School of Social Work. The donation, which is largest in the school's history, was given in the form various grants that each serve particular purposes.
"This is a historic moment for the School of Social Work and our Master of Science in Social Work program," Dean Luis H. Zayas said in an official press release. "The generosity and foresight of the St. David's Foundation will help us send trained and skilled social workers to provide desperately needed services to communities throughout Central Texas."
The St. David's website states that the foundation "achieves its goals by investing the proceeds from the hospitals back in the Central Texas community."
But this isn't the first time that the foundation gave quite a bit of money to a higher learning institution. Many schools in the area, even including Texas State University, ACC, Concordia, A&M, have all received funding for scholarships, to build hospitals, nursing technology, and more.
According to the official press release, the foundation has endowed fellowships for bilingual master's degree students to help develop the need for Spanish speaking social workers. This endowment will sustain the bilingual scholars program, distributing $10,000 each year to 10 masters students who intend to provide mental health services to Spanish-speaking clients in Central Texas.
Additionally, a $50,000 grant goes to the School of Social Work's Gerontology Resources and the Aging Community in Education (GRACE) program. The program will use the $50,000 award to offer fellowships to 10 students in the first year of their master's degree studies and to five students in their second year.
"One of St. David’s Foundation’s focus areas is Healthy Futures, where we prioritize grantmaking for health care workforce development," Roberto Rodriguez, Sr. Program Officer for Healthy Futures for The St. David's Foundation, said. "Social workers fulfill an important function in health care, both as medical and behavioral health social workers in hospitals and clinics throughout our community.”
Rodriguez also said that the $2 million endowment at the School of Social Work builds upon a successful initiative initially funded by the Hogg Foundation, which provides scholarship support to bilingual social work students.
With $10,000, each fellowship would cover about 78 percent of tuition for one year of the master’s degree program for an in-state student. The 10 fellowship students will provide about 5,000 hours a year as interns in the Central Texas community.