Philanthropic Updates from The University of Texas at Dallas

Callier Center Honors The Meadows Foundation, Celebrates a Longstanding Relationship

By Kristi Shewmaker  |  May 15, 2018

The Meadows Foundation and the Callier Center for Communication Disorders share a personal, enduring relationship that dates back to the formation of both organizations. The Callier Center celebrated this bond at the seventh annual Callier Cares Luncheon on April 17 by honoring The Meadows Foundation with the 2018 Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award.

The award is given annually to an individual or group that has contributed significantly to the betterment of the community and to advancing the care of patients with communication disorders. The luncheon was created to raise resources for the Callier Care Fund to benefit children and adults who otherwise could not afford clinical care necessary to overcome speech, language or hearing disorders.

At the luncheon, Tricia George, president of the Foundation for the Callier Center, introduced The Meadows Foundation, and Dr. Ken Altshuler presented the prestigious award. Prefacing the presentation, Dr. Tom Campbell, executive director of the Callier Center, unveiled the naming of two wings that are located inside the Callier Center Expansion on The University of Texas at Dallas campus. Each wing is dedicatedto patient care and the clinical training of graduate students.

The wing in which audiology services are administered, as well as adult speech and language services, will be named “The Altshuler Wing.” The wing in which speech- language therapy programs and individual services are conducted for children will be named “The Meadows Foundation Wing.”

“I am honored to represent The Meadows Foundation today on this special occasion and particularly to see that the foundation’s name will be associated with the Altshulers and with Callier forever in this wonderful new facility,” said  Bruce Esterline, senior vice president for strategic initiatives and grants at The Meadows Foundation.

In his acceptance speech, Esterline shared a moving story about a family whose son was born with congenital heart defects and had significant developmental delays. The family moved to Dallas unaware of the resources available for him, but was told about an organization called Callier.

“They enrolled their son, and over the next two years, he made significant progress,” he said. “I know this, because that was my son.”

When The Meadows Foundation board members met to discuss the naming opportunity in the Callier Center Expansion, they were asked about their relationships with Callier. Esterline conveyed that two board members raised their hands and told personal stories about how Callier had served their children.

“You have created an institution that’s renowned for its academic credibility and its cutting-edge research, but more importantly, you have reshaped how those with communication disorders are treated and served in our community,” Esterline said. “We are incredibly lucky to have you in Dallas, and we thank you for your dedication to the families you serve, and thank you for this award.”

In 1948, Al and Virginia Meadows established The Meadows Foundation, a private family philanthropy, to benefit the people of Texas. Since its inception, the foundation has disbursed more than $1.1 billion in grants to more than 3,500 Texas institutions and agencies. One of the first two grants bestowed by The Meadows Foundation was for $500 to the Pilot Institute for the Deaf in 1950. The Pilot Institute was the first center for deaf children in Dallas and later merged with the Dallas Speech and Hearing Center, the Dallas Council for the Deaf and the Callier Hearing and Speech Center to form one cooperative program, now known as the Callier Center for Communication Disorders.

In 1998, The Meadows Foundation contributed funds for the construction of the Callier Advanced Hearing Research Center in Dallas. Their transformative gift allowed the Callier Center to significantly expand its research laboratories, which are devoted to the study of hearing aids, speech and language of children and adults using cochlear implants and central auditory system processing.

Recently, the foundation helped make the expansion of the Callier Center on the UT Dallas campus a reality, providing additional facilities to conduct research, educate students and care for patients in Collin County.

The foundation’s support of the Callier Center over the years has helped shape the future of care for patients with speech, language and hearing disorders in North Texas and beyond.

Through the leadership of Beth Thoele, luncheon chair, and Joyce and Larry Lacerte, honorary chairs, Callier Cares Luncheon benefactors contributed more than $300,000, the largest amount raised in the luncheon’s history. All proceeds will be used to provideclinical care for children and adults in need through the Callier Care Fund.

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