When Anne and John McPherson invited guests to their home yesterday, it was for a very personal reason. The official word was the formal kick-off of the Callier Family Care Campaign. But for the McPhersons it was because they had first-hand knowledge of the University of Texas at Dallas’ Callier Center for Communication Disorders‘ impact on their family. Anne explained that of their four sons, the youngest two had been diagnosed with severe to profound hearing loss at birth and received cochlear implants when they were babies.
As Anne addressed the crowd that included Foundation for Callier Center President Emilynn Wilson, University of Texas at Dallas President Dr. Richard Benson, Provost Dr. Inga Musselman, Development VP Dr. Kyle Edgington, Dean of Behavioral and Brain Sciences Dr. Steven Small, Cheryl Joyner, Leslie Diers, Beth Thoele, Angie Kadesky, Pam Busbee, Tiffany and Paul Divis, Betsy and Bennett Cullum and Callier grad students Traci Brinkley, Rebecca Havens, Emily Suarez and Julie Behar, she told how for more than 18 years the McPhersons had worked with and benefited from the clinicians, research and developments resulting from the Center. They had even been part of a number of research projects over the years that had provided a way for her to see how the whole process works and to get involved in some of the research and to meet grad students.
In addition to having had children receiving treatments from Callier, Anne had also been on the board, chaired the Callier Cares’ luncheon and was now taking on the chairmanship of the Campaign.
Looking across the room, Anne introduced her red-haired 17-year-old son, Todd McPherson, who had been a Callier client.
As Callier Center Executive Director Dr. Angela Shoup pointed out, the Center has earned national accolades for its efforts. It’s rated #2 for its audiology graduate program and #10 for its speech-language pathology graduate program, which is the largest in the U.S. She added that the Callier Center is “a jewel in North Texas and it is the gold standard of patient care in communication disorders here and beyond.”
Unlike Callier’s previous campaign years ago that raised $250M for the Center’s brick-and-mortar facilities, this effort will be “very different,” focusing on Callier’s greatest asset — its people. The plan is structured around three areas of excellence in treatment, training and research, with donors able to specify which area they want to support.
The mission is to provide excellence in
- treatment by attracting the best and brightest clinicians, strengthen all its treatment programs in all its areas and provide access to care to all patients regardless of their ability to pay.
- training by becoming the most sought after academic program
- research to improve the technology and treatments
She concluded the presentation by announcing that the five-year campaign’s goal is $15M and they were already more than halfway there.