Building on conversations sparked by the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Lecture on Ethics and Leadership series, which was established in 2004 with a $6.5 million endowment from the foundation, the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Center on Ethics and Leadership will serve as a hub where academics, business leaders, community members, and government and policy officials come together to work on timely and substantive issues in ethical leadership. Initiatives to be sponsored by the center include a series of lectures and projects focused on racial healing, health disparities, and voter suppression; an annual awards program that recognizes exemplary acts of courage in ethics and leadership; and academic research on ethics, leadership, and public policy.
Elizabeth D. Rockwell matriculated at UH in 1938 and remained a longtime supporter of the university until her death in 2011. Her previous support for the university includes endowed chairs for the deans of the M.D. Anderson Library and the College of Education and Cullen College of Engineering, as well as support for the Elizabeth D. Rockwell President's Suite in the Houston Alumni Center, the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Career Services Center in the C.T. Bauer College of Business, and the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion in the M.D. Anderson Library.
"Public policy is most meaningful when it addresses the issues at the core of society," said former Texas state senator Kirk P. Watson, founding dean of the Hobby School. "The Rockwell Center will provide a forum for addressing critical issues such as voting rights, civil rights, and racial disparities."