Kathy Beazley
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Photo courtesy of Texas Woman's University TWU Alumna Lottye Brodsky-Lyle and Lucy Billingsley

On Wednesday, March 27th, Texas Woman’s University marked a significant milestone as Monica Christopher was formally installed as the inaugural president of the Dallas campus, culminating as a poignant addition to Women’s History Month. The ceremony, held at the TWU T. Boone Pickens Institute of Health Sciences — Dallas Center, located in the Southwestern Medical District, was accompanied by a vibrant celebration and reception attended by esteemed dignitaries.

Celebrating the enduring stability rooted in Texas Woman's 120-year legacy in Texas including 70 years in Dallas, the event spotlighted the institution's commitment to innovation and inclusivity. Chancellor Carine Feyten delivered a keynote address, underscoring the importance of diverse voices in shaping TWU's future.

Other speakers included Dr. Ann Stuart, TWU chancellor emerita, who shared anecdotes of TWU's history and her instrumental role in establishing the Dallas campus during her tenure as the inaugural chancellor. Dale A. Petroskey, president and CEO of the Dallas Regional Chamber, expressed enthusiasm for Christopher's leadership at TWU Dallas and emphasized the pivotal role of innovation in healthcare workforce development.

Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, president of UT Southwestern Medical Center, highlighted TWU Dallas's impactful presence in the Medical District and its collaborative efforts with UT Southwestern in advancing healthcare research. Lottye Brodsky-Lyle, Ph. D., a TWU alumna and friend of Christopher’s, lauded the university's supportive environment, where both faculty and leadership prioritize listening and valuing individuals. Bob Mong, president of the University of North Texas at Dallas, conveyed excitement about Christopher's new role. Meanwhile, academic departments showcased their achievements, and staff presented engaging videos.

Special surprises included a proclamation from Dallas City Council Member Jaynie Schultz, officially designating March 27, 2024, as "Texas Woman's University Day” from Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson. The TWU Student Government Association presented Christopher with a stethoscope in a beautifully framed shadow box, symbolizing the breadth of healthcare programs at the Dallas campus. Dianne Baker, who lettered in five sports at Texas Woman's and later became the winningest head coach of the Pioneers’ softball team, humorously gifted Christopher a TWU "undefeated" football helmet, playfully nodding to the absence of a football team at the university. Finally, Nancy Barry, Christopher's first supervisor, sent a heartfelt video message and a copy of her book When Reality Hits: What Employers Want Recent Graduates To Know, which includes a mention of Christopher and further highlights her impact and contributions.

In February, Christopher assumed leadership at TWU Dallas, renowned for its exceptional academic programs and groundbreaking research initiatives in nursing, allied health professions, and health care administration. Christopher's appointment marks a significant milestone during a period of dynamic growth for Texas Woman’s University, the largest woman-focused university system in the nation.

In 2021, the Texas Legislature granted university system status to Texas Woman’s, which boasts campuses in Denton, Dallas, and Houston. Currently, efforts are underway to appoint an inaugural president for the Houston campus.

Furthermore, last September marked the launch of Dream Big, Texas Woman’s University's first comprehensive fundraising campaign. Set to culminate with the university’s 125th anniversary in 2026, Dream Big aims to raise $125 million to support the university's continued pursuit of excellence and innovation.

Christopher, a veteran fundraiser and community affairs strategist whose previous posts include executive and senior leadership roles at Communities Foundation of Texas and The Dallas Morning News/WFAA, is charged with growing campus engagement and raising the visibility of TWU Dallas, particularly with respect to increased enrollment and expanded partnerships with health care, business and community organizations.

"Today marks an exciting milestone for Texas Woman’s University in Dallas with the installation of Monica. Her profound grasp of our educational and research objectives, coupled with her exceptional ability to engage with corporate and nonprofit sectors, positions her as a catalyst for fostering community involvement and shaping a strategic vision for our Dallas campus," Feyten said. "With Monica at the helm, I am confident that our Dallas campus will emerge as a pivotal hub, propelling Dallas into a premier destination for top-tier higher education opportunities."

Following the March 22 celebration, Christopher said, "I am deeply honored and filled with excitement to assume the role of the inaugural president of the Dallas campus at Texas Woman’s University." She adds, “The university holds a rich legacy in Dallas, and I am eager to collaborate with our exceptional faculty, staff, and students to expand the campus, uphold its tradition of excellence, and spotlight the exceptional degree programs it offers."

About TWU Dallas

Texas Woman’s first established a presence in Dallas in 1954, when the nursing program was launched at Parkland Hospital. Today, the T. Boone Pickens Institute of Health Sciences ? Dallas Center is a 190,000-square-foot facility that sits in the heart of the Southwestern Medical District. Since then, Texas Woman’s has become a notable contributor to the healthcare workforce, graduating an average of 2,000 nursing and allied health professionals each year.

The Dallas campus also is home to the renowned Stroke Center, which provides more than 5,000 hours of clinical, neuro-rehabilitation services annually at no cost to members of the community. In addition to an MBA and graduate level healthcare administration programs, the Dallas campus offers upper-level undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy.

About Monica Christopher

Christopher is the inaugural Dallas Campus president. A seasoned fundraiser and community relations professional, she has served in key positions in both areas for the last 25 years, forging numerous successful private-public sector partnerships and amassing extensive experience in cultivating and stewarding major donors, grant making, program management, and public speaking. During her 15-year tenure at Dallas-based Communities Foundation of Texas, she rose to the level of senior vice president and chief giving and community impact officer, leading several teams in fundraising efforts that set new benchmarks in gifts and funds created. While at The Dallas Morning News/WFAA, she also held several positions over nearly 10 years in community relations aimed at building community engagement, raising brand awareness and coordinating charity events. Additional leadership roles for Christopher include involvement in the Dallas Regional Chamber, Dallas Summit, Junior League of Dallas, Cotton Bowl Athletic Association, and the Women’s Auxiliary at Children’s Medical Center, among other organizations.

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