Texas Woman's University in Denton has announced a gift of more than $10 million from alumna ('89) and businesswoman Mary L.A. Stanton.
Stanton's commitment — the single largest contribution in the history of the school, which was established in 1901 — includes $10 million for construction of a residential village and $1,901 for the launch of a "1901 Society" of donors who have given $1 million or more to the university over their lifetimes. Scheduled to open in the fall of 2019, the residential village will house eight hundred and seventy-five students and contain classroom, fitness, exploratory learning, and recreational spaces.
"I hope my gift will provide students with a campus experience I was not able to enjoy myself," said Stanton, who had been a commuter student and working single parent. "I loved the way the Denton campus felt when I was there." Stanton also pursued an MBA at the university but stopped short of earning the degree as her job with the H.T. Ardinger & Son wholesale import company began to demand more of her time. She later married Horace Ardinger, Jr., who died in 2012, and continues to manage ten other businesses in fields ranging from oil and gas to medical research, environmental waste recovery, and financial investing. "Without my [bachelor's] degree, I don't think I would be where I am today," she said. "I'm honored to say I'm a TWU graduate and hope that TWU's students will see me as a role model for what they, too, can become."
"Mary is a smart businesswoman who serves as a role model for many," said TWU chancellor Carine M. Feyten. "Her thoughtful and generous gift will transform student housing at TWU. And, I am pleased to see Mary leading the charge to inspire others to give to Texas Woman's University."