Nursing Dean Elizabeth Poster, second from left, recently gave Bloxom Foundation directors, from left, Darrell Lester, Bonnie Dowdy, and Lynn Ross a tour of UT Arlington’s Smart Hospital.

Solid Foundation

Gift establishes nursing, engineering scholarships

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A pioneer in construction concrete is helping support the next generation of innovators at UT Arlington.

When David E. Bloxom was developing a lightweight concrete in the 1950s, he asked researchers at UT Arlington (then Arlington State College) to help him test the material and get his idea patented. With assistance from faculty members in the College of Engineering, Bloxom provided studies proving that this new concrete would greatly benefit the construction industry.

He went on to become one of the first men in America to use precast concrete in building construction and later started his own company, Speed Fab-Crete, which constructs buildings using prefabricated lightweight concrete panels. But he never forgot the people who helped him along the way.

Bloxom helped establish the College of Engineering’s Construction Research Center, served on the College of Engineering Advisory Committee, and was a member of the Nursing Advisory Council. (He was friends with the husband of the college’s founding dean, Myrna Pickard, and once told Dr. Pickard, “Nurses are the greatest thing in the world.”)

When he died in 2000 at age 77, Bloxom in his will created a charitable foundation to benefit UT Arlington and other nonprofit organizations. The Bloxom Foundation has established the David E. Bloxom Sr. Engineering Scholarship and Research Endowment and the David E. Bloxom Sr. Nursing Scholarship and Award Fund.

Bonnie Dowdy, one of the foundation directors, says the endowments will help students who are dedicated to a goal and are seeking a UT Arlington education to achieve it.

David had seen so many people with good ideas who wanted to succeed but didn’t have the money to make it happen,” Dowdy says. “Scholarships made sense because he always said that without the backing of his friends, he would never have made it. He met most of those friends in college.”

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