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Moritz family creates $1 million endowed nursing chair at UT Arlington

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

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Media Contact: Kristin Sullivan, Office:817-272-5364, Cell:817-706-9811, kristinsul@uta.edu

The University of Texas at Arlington announces the creation of a $1 million endowment to support a new chair of geriatric nursing research established through a generous gift by the Moritz family.

The gift establishes the first endowed faculty chair in the College of Nursing, which has more than tripled its enrollment over the past three years to about 6,000 students this fall to make it the largest nursing program in Texas. The commitment from the Moritz family, namesakes of Moritz Dealerships, is given in honor of achievements of the college and will enable UT Arlington to advance research in the critical field of elder care.

“This is a phenomenal commitment,” said Elizabeth C. Poster, dean of the College of Nursing. “This gift will help us attract the kind of prominent scholar who can help move our research agenda forward and help inspire our students to see themselves as scientists and scholars for the future.”

The Moritz Chair of Geriatric Nursing Research is funded through the second major commitment from the Moritz family this year. The family previously committed $750,000 toward College Park Center, a gift that will be recognized by the naming of “Moritz Plaza” on the north side of the new 7,000-seat arena.

John David Moritz, president of Moritz Dealerships, noted his family’s longtime support for UT Arlington nursing scholarships, academics and the college’s Smart Hospital™ – where students learn with the aid of high-tech patient simulators. He also praised the college’s efforts to increase outreach and recruiting efforts among high school students.

"What they are doing is remarkable,” Moritz said. “Health care is so important to our society, and there is such demand for these students and the services they will provide to all of us.”

Poster said the new endowment provides UT Arlington a margin of excellence as it develops a comprehensive geriatric research agenda. Many doctoral and graduate nursing students have gravitated toward geriatrics research, she said. Faculty and students are particularly interested in advances that can improve the efficacy of caregivers, improve the quality of life for the aging population and enhance opportunity for independent living among the elderly.

Moritz said his family was motivated to establish the new endowment in part by UT Arlington’s Maverick Match program, which leverages the University’s natural gas royalties to encourage philanthropy and bolster the University's endowment. The Moritz family’s $500,000 commitment will be matched dollar for dollar to create the $1 million nursing endowment.

“Anytime you can see your dollars leveraged like that, it’s attractive,” he said. “This will have impact for the long term.”

President James D. Spaniolo expressed gratitude for the support the Moritz family has extended to the University.

“It is heartening to know that civic and business leaders like the Moritz family are committed to ensuring excellence at UT Arlington for generations to come,” Spaniolo said. “We are honored by the family’s support and friendship.”

To learn more about philanthropic opportunities at UT Arlington, please contact the Office of Development at 817-272-2584 or visit http://www.uta.edu/giving/.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of 33,439 students in the heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.