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The Woodward Family Endowment

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Fifty years after graduating from The University of Texas at Austin, Stanley and Louise Woodward have accumulated a life’s worth of memories, and some of the most treasured ones are entwined with the Forty Acres. It’s where the two met, and it’s where their two daughters earned their degrees some 30 years later.

Stanley started out studying aeronautical engineering but eventually switched to pre-med, joining an unbroken line of Woodward doctors that began with his great-grandfather. Soon after switching majors, however, he had to leave the university to serve in the U.S. Maritime Service from 1944 to 1946.

Louise, meanwhile, earned her B.B.A. in 1944 and worked as a stewardess for Braniff Airlines for two years until Stanley returned to UT to resume his education. She had to quit her job so they could marry. During those years, he worked at the Capitol and as an assistant in the biology department, and she worked at the Railroad Commission.

Stanley graduated in 1948 with a B.A. in biology and the two moved to Galveston so he could attend medical school at the UT Medical Branch. Stanley received his M.D. in 1952.

Because of the Korean War, many doctors 45 and younger were still being drafted into the army and navy. Rather than set up a practice only to be called away, Stanley opted to join up. He served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps at San Antonio’s Fort Sam Houston for two years, and the couple’s first daughter, Valin, was born there in 1954. Shortly after that, Stanley got out of the army, and the family moved to New Braunfels, where he set up his practice in family medicine.

The Woodwards recognized that the costs of education have risen exponentially since their own college days, such that many students now incur thousands of dollars of debt while earning a degree. That is one reason the couple has established the Woodward Family Endowment.

Louise explains the couple’s mutual decision to leave the bulk of their estate to education and the university: “We’ve been very fortunate, and in many ways we’ve led a charmed life. But we couldn’t have done what we have without our education, so who better to leave it to than the university? It made us who we are today.”

The Woodward Family Endowment was established in the College of Natural Sciences to provide scholarships for pre-med students.

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