Firsthand Experience Inspires Callier Supporter's Generosity
Sept. 18, 2013
Emilie Schepps knows the Callier Center as both a patient and a supporter.
A hearing problem first brought Emilie Schepps to the Callier Center for Communication Disorders. The care she received and the compassion she witnessed turned her into one of its most generous advocates.
Schepps has donated to UT Dallas and Callier every year since 1997, totaling more than $500,000. Many of her donations have gone toward a fund that provides hearing services to needy patients that was created in honor of Dr. Phillip “Lee” Wilson, an audiologist and clinical associate professor.
“I believe in Callier because I’ve seen what they can do for people,” Schepps said. “I want to support them because I want them to be able to reach more patients.”
Schepps has been a Callier patient since 1978, working closely with Wilson. She said Callier’s excellence comes from the high-level expertise of its audiologists and speech-language pathologists. This is evidenced by the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings, which placed the audiology program at third in the nation and the speech-language pathology program at 11th. This puts both programs in the top 4 percent nationally in their respective disciplines. The center also offers patients access to the latest breakthroughs through UT Dallas faculty members’ research.
In the years following her hearing loss diagnosis, Schepps volunteered regularly at Callier’s Dallas location. She said she enjoyed watching the therapists and teachers interact with the youngest children as they learned how to better connect with the world.
“I saw how much the people working at Callier cared about their patients,” said Schepps, who spent many years in the wholesale spirits business with her late husband. “They are improving the lives of these very young people, as well as their older patients. I enjoyed my time as a volunteer because I felt like I was helping, too.”
“Emilie Schepps should serve as an inspiration to anyone who wants to help their community. She has been there for Callier and for UT Dallas through many transformations. Her continuing support has played a major part in Callier’s ability to improve the lives of thousands of individuals.”
In 1982, Schepps joined the Foundation for the Callier Center’s board of trustees. There, she and others boosted efforts that expanded research and clinical services. She and her fellow trustees also helped spearhead the construction of Callier’s Richardson facility, which brought services to Collin County. Schepps, who previously worked as a mental health counselor, said her background in that field contributed to her desire to help people with communication problems. Longtime friend Dr. Bert Moore, the Aage and Margareta Møller Distinguished Professor and dean of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, said Schepps has “lived a life of service.”
Dr. Thomas Campbell, the Ludwig A. Michael, MD, Callier Center Executive Director and Sara T. Martineau Professor, expressed gratitude for Schepps’ longtime commitment to helping patients with communication disorders.
“Emilie Schepps should serve as an inspiration to anyone who wants to help their community,” Campbell said. “She has been there for Callier and for UT Dallas through many transformations. Her continuing support has played a major part in Callier’s ability to improve the lives of thousands of individuals.”
To further Callier’s vision to create the nation’s pre-eminent center for treatment, training and research in communication disorders, The University of Texas System Board of Regents recently approved the expansion of Callier with a new 63,200-square-foot building adjacent to the Callier Richardson campus. As part of the University’s Realize the Vision campaign, the Foundation for the Callier Center’s board of trustees is committed to raising $5 million toward the $20 million state-of-the-art facility.
Schepps continues to show her support of Callier through her most recent gift of $50,000 in honor of Wilson — $25,000 to help patients in need and $25,000 for construction of the new building.