Texas Tech University in Lubbock has announced a gift of $10 million from businessman Jerry Hodge and his wife, Margaret, to establish the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine.
The gift will support development and construction of a School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo, where Hodge previously served as mayor, with the goal of shaping the future of veterinary education in the state, revolutionizing veterinary services in its agricultural communities, and enriching its agricultural heritage.
In August, the Texas Tech University System's board of regents advanced the university's plans to establish a veterinary school by approving the new school, its degree plan, and funding for preliminary designs for the school. More than the $90 million has been raised for the school, but last fall Hodge told the board of regents he was withdrawing his commitment due to frustration over the reported ouster of Texas Tech chancellor Robert Duncan, who retired at the end of August. His gift was not officially announced until the chair of the Texas Tech University System Regents, who Hodge encouraged to step down, departed, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports.
A licensed pharmacist, Hodge turned a local pharmacy, Maxor Drugs, into Maxor National Pharmacy Services Corporation, serving as chair and CEO until his retirement in 2016. From 1981 to 1987, he served on the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, including a stint as president from 1984 to 1985.
"Through his leadership as a businessman, mayor, and philanthropist, Jerry Hodge's impact on Amarillo and the Panhandle cannot be overstated," said Texas Tech president Lawrence Schovanec. "His support of the School of Veterinary Medicine adds to the impressive history of his long-term commitment to the development of the region and helps ensure a critical need in Texas is filled. We are grateful for his generosity."