Sid W. Richardson Foundation makes gift to support University retention
Texas Wesleyan University is excited to announce a gift of $500,000 from the Sid W. Richardson Foundation in support of student retention efforts as part of Engage. Inspire. Invest. A Comprehensive Campaign.
The gift will provide funding for first-year student experiences, academic support for students in key academic courses, software and technology to reduce students’ academic costs and laptop kiosks so students have access to the tools they need to be successful.
“This broad-ranging gift will help students across many fronts,” said University President Frederick G. Slabach. “Helping first-year students be successful by engaging them with each other and providing the resources they need to get a good start will go a long way to retaining them.”
The two-year grant will help support five different programs:
- Ram Camp, an off-campus team-building experience for first-year students
- First-Year Learning Communities, which cohorts students with similar academic interests
- Supplemental Instruction, which provides course-based academic support via peer mentors
- Open Educational Resources, which converts traditional curricula into online-based curricula with free access to textbooks
- Laptop Kiosks, which allows students to check out laptops from a vending machine for four hours at a time
“We see a steady stream of students each semester asking to borrow laptops and textbooks,” said Elizabeth Howard, director of the Eunice and James L. West Library. “Because of the resources provided by the Richardson Foundation, we can finally say ‘Yes,’ which will have a major impact on our students lives every day.”
This gift builds on a similar gift of $150,000 provided by the Sid W. Richardson Foundation in 2021, which helped establish Ram Camp, supplemental instruction and a student emergency fund for students experiencing temporary financial setbacks.
The Sid W. Richardson Foundation has a long history of support at Texas Wesleyan, including a $1 million gift in 1968 to build the Sid Richardson Center, home to Rams Basketball and the University swimming pool. More recently, the foundation has provided funds for medical manikins in the Graduate Programs in Nurse Anesthesia Simulation Center, renovation of the Sid Richardson Center in 2017 and construction of the United Methodist Center and the Polytechnic Firehouse Renovation in 2013.