SAN ANTONIO (Jan. 15, 2008) — A surprise 55th wedding anniversary gift to longtime philanthropists Ann and Sam Barshop by their children and friends has created the first endowed chair in respiratory therapy at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
The Steven Lloyd Barshop Chair in Respiratory Care honors the memory of the Barshops’ son, Steven, who passed away in December 2002. Steven Barshop benefited for several years from the care of a UT Health Science Center respiratory care student, Roland Peña.
The surprise presentation was made during a luncheon in the School of Allied Health Sciences. The Barshop children, Jamie and Bruce, and Bruce’s wife, Colleen, secretly raised $270,000 from family members and friends for the endowment as Sam and Ann Barshop’s anniversary gift. However, the presentation quickly turned into a double surprise.
“We are deeply moved by this gift,” Sam Barshop said in accepting the anniversary gift. “We are touched by your kindness in memory of Steven. Ann and I will be matching the gifts you’ve all so generously contributed.” The Barshops’ contribution will bring the gift to well over $500,000 and will create The Steven Lloyd Barshop Endowed Chair in Respiratory Therapy.
President Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., said, “We are deeply honored by this generous gift to our School of Allied Health Sciences. Ann and Sam, Jamie, Bruce, Colleen and all of you who have joined us today are among our most treasured friends. Each of you is leading the future of health and you are carrying our university forward from very good to great. You are truly making lives better for our region, our state and our world.”
Speaking to her parents during the ceremony, Jamie Barshop said, “The Prophet Kahil Gibran wrote that as parents, ‘You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.’ Today, with deepest respect and love, we remember our beloved brother, Steven. He lived a worthy life, and I know he feels greatly rewarded by this gift bestowed to you on your 55th anniversary in his honor.”
The endowment will promote student and faculty excellence by supporting cutting-edge research. It will also enrich scholarly teaching, enhance innovation in program development and provide initiatives to underserved communities in South Texas. The holder of the Steven Lloyd Barshop Endowed Chair in Respiratory Care will be announced at a later date.
Marilyn Harrington, Ph.D., dean of the School of Allied Health Sciences, said, “When Sam and Ann Barshop asked if I could find someone to work evenings and weekends, assisting their son, Steven, I was confident we could help. Several students stepped forward, but Roland Peña, a respiratory care student, became a committed caregiver for several years. A bond was formed and on weekends Roland ― often accompanied by his children ― took Steven on outings. Trusting their son to a qualified, caring professional alleviated a great deal of anxiety for Sam and Ann. It also helped a young student support his family while pursuing his education.”
Sam and Ann Barshop have been longtime supporters of the Health Science Center. In 2001, their generous gift helped create the Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies. The mission of the Barshop Institute, ranked by the National Institute on Aging as the best in the nation, is to conduct cutting-edge gerontological research and then make the results standard practice for physicians in patient care. The institute’s ultimate goal is to help people to live longer lives, free of debilitating disease.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the leading research institution in South Texas and one of the major health sciences universities in the world. With an operating budget of $576 million, the Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $15.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $35 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 22,000 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and allied health professionals) serve in their fields, including many in Texas. Health Science Center faculty are international leaders in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, stroke prevention, kidney disease, orthopaedics, research imaging, transplant surgery, psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, pain management, genetics, nursing, allied health, dentistry and many other fields.