Texas Women’s University announces plans for new Institute for Women’s Leadership

Texas Women’s University announced via a press release that it plans to create a distinctive new Institute for Women’s Leadership on its Denton campus that will encompass three focused centers on the large second floor of Old Main, the university’s first building, built in 1903 (pictured above). Construction will begin this fall, with move-in slated for summer 2019.

The Institute’s three centers are aimed at inspiring more women to run for political office, to become successful entrepreneurs and C-Suite executives, and to gain professional leadership skills and experience. The new Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy will join TWU’s existing Center for Women in Business and Center for Student Leadership as part of the new Institute.

The Institute for Women’s Leadership also will include a new high-tech interactive exhibit that chronicles the state’s female political leaders and provides important online research for visitors, residents, scholars and students. Richard McWalters, former director of museum operations at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C., is consulting with SBL Architecture to create this 3,200 square-foot exhibit space.

“We are proud that our Texas governor and Legislature continue to support TWU’s distinctive role as the nation’s largest university primarily for women,” said Chancellor Carine M. Feyten. “This new institute will draw upon the legacy of the many women who have a record of leadership in the Lone Star State, and help us attract and enable a much larger cadre of women leaders to further advance Texas’ economy, quality of life and health, and engaged citizenry. It also will guide leadership development opportunities for our students.”

Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Mary Saunders, a TWU alumna, will lead the new Institute, which has received $7.2 million in state start-up funds and a $2 million gift from Sue Schrier Bancroft and her husband Christopher. Regent Nancy Paup and her husband Ted also have given $250,000 for a special Institute lecture series.

Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Mary Saunders will lead the new institute.

In addition, two dozen of Texas’ top female leaders in business, politics, finance, education, law, real estate and communications have stepped forward to serve on the Institute’s advisory council chaired by Bancroft.

“This group of dynamic women will provide significant direction for events, speakers, networking opportunities and research,” Saunders said. “In addition, their participation is critical in creating an extraordinary interactive environment for young Texans to learn about the contributions of women leaders throughout Texas’ history.”

*Photos courtesy of Texas Women’s University.


Established in 1901, Texas Woman’s University has campuses in Denton, Dallas and Houston. Known for its strengths in the fields of education, nutrition, business, the arts and sciences, and especially in the nursing and health care professions, the university offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in traditional, online and hybrid formats. Texas Woman’s University is home to numerous important collections focused on women’s leadership, including the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) National Archives, the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame, and the Texas First Ladies Historic Costume Collection. Find out more on the university’s website. publishes every week.
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