Andrea Tawney, Associate Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement, Texas Tech University Health Sciences of El Paso

‘Because we’re a relatively young school compared to other medical schools, the fundraising is crucial,’ says Andrea Tawney, Texas Tech El Paso’s assistant vice chancellor for institutional advancement.

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso has surpassed its 10th anniversary scholarship fundraising goal by more than $100,000, and it’s not even two full weeks into 2020.

The scholarship fundraiser has raised $350,000 so far, flying by the original goal of $250,000. Andrea Tawney, Texas Tech El Paso’s assistant vice chancellor for institutional advancement, said scholarships are used in recruitment efforts to encourage more El Paso students to choose the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine.

“Because we’re a relatively young school compared to other medical schools, the fundraising is crucial,” Tawney said. “We don’t have a huge endowment like some of the older medical schools to draw from for recruitment scholarships.”

Tawney said this fundraiser will help create a dedicated source of funds for these scholarships.

“Our admissions office is really excited about this opportunity and these funds because they’re solely going to dedicate it to recruiting students, and be able to tell them that they can rely on these scholarship dollars for four years, throughout their time here,” Tawney said.

About a third of each class at the medical school is from El Paso, Tawney said, and about 40% of the student population is Hispanic.

“We’re the only Hispanic-serving institution on the U.S.-Mexico border, and we’re really proud of that,” Tawney said. “There can be a lot of higher ed institutions that don’t necessarily reflect their populations, and that’s why we were established, to serve the community.”

She added that after 10 years, the school is starting to fulfill its mission of keeping more graduates in El Paso, and last year 18 students were matched to residencies in the borderland.

“It’s been super rewarding to reach out to businesses and not really have to do a hard sell,” Tawney said. “Now that we’ve been here for 10 years, they see the value in what we bring to the community.”

The medical school welcomed its inaugural class of 40 students in 2009. Texas Tech El Paso now also includes the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. A new dental school is expected to welcome its first class of students in 2021.

The medical school holds its 10th anniversary celebration, “A Red Tie Affair for a White Coat Occasion,” on Feb. 28 at Epic Railyard. The donation period will run until December, Tawney said. Those interested in donating can visit ttuhscep.edu/foster10.


Email El Paso Inc. reporter Sara Sanchez at sesanchez@elpasoinc.com or call (915) 534-4422, ext. 105.

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