Grants Support Effort to Build New Callier Autism Center

Hoblitzelle, Hillcrest Foundations Each Contribute $300,000 Toward New Facility

Apr. 9, 2012

Architectural rendering of the new autism center

The new UT Dallas Callier Autism Center will be a 7,000-square-foot facility adjacent to the current Callier Center building.

 
Two Dallas foundations with a long history of supporting educational and medical advances are boosting efforts to build a new UT Dallas Callier Autism Center.

The Hoblitzelle Foundation and the Hillcrest Foundation each contributed $300,000 to the construction project. The plan involves renovating and expanding the UT Dallas Callier Center for Communication Disorders, one of the nation’s top clinical, educational and research facilities for children and adults with speech, language and hearing problems. As part of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Callier has provided group and individual therapy for patients and families touched by autism for more than 30 years.

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“UT Dallas benefits greatly from the support of local foundations, which provide critical funds and leadership for vital initiatives,” said UT Dallas President David E. Daniel.  “This grant will allow the Callier Center to build new research and treatment facilities as part of their autism research center.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recently estimated one of every 88 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which encompasses autism and related disorders. ASD negatively affects communication, social interaction and learning.

The Hoblitzelle Foundation first provided a $300,000 grant to support the new Callier Autism Center, with the stipulation that Callier must find a donor or donors to match that amount. The Hillcrest Foundation then came forward with its own matching $300,000 grant to Callier.

The Callier Center’s executive director and Sara T. Martineau Professor, Dr. Tom Campbell, said the gifts will provide vital funding for a major new effort to improve diagnosis and treatment for the myriad challenges faced by individuals or parents affected by ASD.

“This project will allow the Callier Center to serve a larger number of individuals with autism in a more effective way and to expand the programs now available to these patients and their families,” he said. “The space will mirror our three-fold mission at Callier, by providing room for additional training and research efforts beyond clinical services.”

Callier researchers and clinicians collaborate on a variety of projects with faculty members and physicians at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Children’s Medical Center.

Dr. Thomas Campbell

Dr. Thomas Campbell

The building project at Callier will include a new 7,000-square-foot facility adjacent to the current building, and renovation to portions of the existing facilities. This will produce expanded space for ASD programs, and better configuration for ASD learning environments. Also included in the plan is a new entry and reception area to improve patient and visitor access, as well as a new treatment and research facility.

The Hoblitzelle Foundation helped establish UT Dallas 40 years ago by donating almost 300 acres of land. It has repeatedly contributed to the University in the years since then. The foundation was created in 1942 by Karl and Esther Hoblitzelle to provide grants for educational, medical and cultural organizations. 

The Hillcrest Foundation of Dallas was founded in 1957 by Mrs. W. W. Caruth Sr. to support the advancement of education, the promotion of health and the relief of poverty in Texas. Hillcrest has funded a wide variety of educational and research projects at UT Dallas.


Media Contact: Emily Martinez, UT Dallas, (214) 905-3049, emily.martinez@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu
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