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Dr. Myrna Pickard...Still Trailblazing

Dr. Myrna Pickard...Still Trailblazing

Former Dean Includes UT Arlington in Estate Plans

It's no surprise that Dr. Myrna Pickard, the first female UT Arlington dean and the founding dean of the School (now College) of Nursing, is also a charter member of the Edward E. Rankin Legacy Society, the recognition society for estate gifts. She and her late husband, Bob, chose this giving direction for several reasons.

"We were working on our estate plans, establishing a trust, and considered what we could do that would make a difference and make the best use of the funds after our deaths, " Dr. Pickard says. "We both knew UT Arlington would be a good steward of our resources. Bob was an alumnus of Arlington State College (a UT Arlington predecessor institution), and I was a university dean. So it was fulfilling to both of us to include a gift to UT Arlington in our estate plans."

When reflecting on her early trailblazing years, Dr. Pickard recalls the journey of the School of Nursing from Fort Worth to its home at UT Arlington. What started the ball rolling was the unexpected 1976 Regents' decision to decentralize the systemwide School of Nursing, assigning the nursing schools to the nearest system medical school or university. She vividly remembers UT Arlington President Wendell Nedderman meeting with the nursing faculty prior to their move to UT Arlington. In the initial meeting, he received a cool reception but everyone quickly recognized he was their strongest supporter.

He, along with Dr. Pickard, the provost and the council of deans worked to strengthen relationships between the nursing faculty and the campus while shaping a leading nursing education program. In 1977, the Master of Science in Nursing was approved. In 1982, nursing moved into a new building that, in 1995, was renamed Pickard Hall in honor of all Dr. Pickard had accomplished. Dr. Nedderman writes, "During the Pickard era, the school (of nursing) prospered. New and expanded programs, increasing stature and enrollment growth were her trademarks. She spearheaded innovative programs in distance education, a groundbreaking nurse practitioner program and a strong rural health program."

Dr. Pickard celebrates the present and future of the now College of Nursing. "It is inspiring hearing about the growth, the Smart Hospital and all that is going on," she says. "There is a 'can-do' attitude there, and I am proud to provide support through my estate for the many possibilities ahead."

Learn How You Can Help

If you would like to follow the example set by Dr. Pickard, consider a gift in your estate plans. With many options that provide multiple tax benefits, we can help find a gift that fits your charitable goals. Contact us for help setting up your gift, at no obligation, of course.

You can also create a legacy at UTA and help shape future generations of leaders. To explore legacy giving options, please contact the Office of Gift and Estate Planning.