Callier Center Raises $100,000 for Patient Care
First Callier Cares Luncheon Recognizes Support of Ruth and Ken Altshuler
Jun. 14, 2012
The first Callier Cares Luncheon brought together 320 philanthropists, top-flight researchers and clinicians to support the work of the UT Dallas Callier Center for Communication Disorders, which has provided hearing and speech-language therapies to thousands of North Texans during the past five decades.
The lunch was the first of what organizers predict will become an annual fundraising event. Callier is working to raise $8 million of a $200 million goal for Realize the Vision, the Campaign for Tier One and Beyond, the University’s first comprehensive campaign.
UT Dallas President David E. Daniel chats at the luncheon with (from left) Suzanne Bonifert, head of the speech-language pathology program at UT Dallas’ Callier Center for Communication Disorders; Jan Lougeay, director of clinical education; and Jenny McGlothlin, a speech-language pathologist.
The May gathering featured the inaugural presentation of the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award. The Altshulers, who are among Dallas’ most respected community leaders, were honored as the first recipients of the award.
Through the Altshulers’ benevolence, the Callier Care Fund was created to help patients of all ages who would otherwise be unable to afford clinical care, promising young students who require financial support, and rising young faculty researchers in search of start-up funding for important projects. Proceeds from the luncheon will contribute directly to patient care and ensure that Callier can continue its legacy as a national resource for children and adults with speech, language and hearing disorders.
During the event at the Dallas Country Club, Dr. Altshuler discussed the major advances in therapies and opportunities for people who face hearing challenges. Mrs. Altshuler shared personal memories of childhood encounters with Helen Keller, the famed international crusader for blind and deaf people who often visited with relatives in Dallas.
Community leader and Foundation for the Callier Center board member Libby Hunt was chairwoman of the luncheon.
“Libby’s leadership and passion resulted in a tremendous outpouring of community support,” said Dr. Thomas Campbell, executive director of Callier and the Sara T. Martineau Professor. “The outcome far exceeded our expectations for a first-time event and raised $100,000 that will greatly benefit our patients and their families.”
Hunt said she felt Callier needed an event that increased awareness in the community.
“Callier needed to be recognized for its time-honored commitment to improve the ability of children and adults with speech, language and hearing disorders to connect to our world - a mission with eternal value,” she said.
Camille Potts attended the spring luncheon because of her daughter’s experience at Callier.
“My daughter attended four semesters of the pre-verbal program at Callier 16 years ago, and the change in her was dramatic,” Potts said. “In that year, she went from an angry, frustrated toddler with no communication skills to the bubbly and charming girl she still is today. Margot recently graduated from Highland Park High School, and we are all so proud of this girl who, despite being on the autism spectrum, participated in theater and marching band at Highland Park, and on the Galleria Ice Angels Drill Team.
“Our family is so grateful that Margot was able to start treatment at 20 months of age, and I hope that my support of Callier Cares will give another family the same chance we were so fortunate to have.”
The Callier Center is part of UT Dallas' School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. U.S. News and World Report recently ranked the school’s graduate programs in audiology and speech-language pathology among the top 4 percent in the nation. Much of the graduate students’ training takes place at Callier, which hosted more than 20,000 clinical visits last year.
Callier Center faculty members also are actively engaged in basic and applied research into the causes, prevention, assessment and treatment of communication disorders and autism.
Pamela Busbee, president of the Foundation for the Callier Center, said she believes the luncheon is a “real turning point in bringing greater public awareness” to Callier.
“Callier is respected and recognized all over the world for the programs, education and research that has been at the forefront and cutting edge for years,” she said. “Now it is time for the Dallas community to realize what a fabulous institution we have right here and spread the word and support it with our excitement, trust and dollars.”
Ruth and Ken Altshuler were honored as the first recipients of an award created in their name. The community leaders created the Callier Care Fund.
From left: Dr. Thomas Campbell, the Callier executive director; Pamela Busbee, president of the Callier Foundation; and Dr. Ludwig Michael, the Callier board's longest- serving member.
Foundation for the Callier Center board member Libby Hunt, shown with her husband David, was chairwoman of the luncheon.