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Prothro Family Receives President’s Philanthropy Award

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    Members of the Prothro family stand at the entrance of the new Prothro Center. From l-r are: Vincent Prothro, Caren Prothro, Joe Prothro, Dale Prothro, Kathy Prothro, Kay Yaeger and Frank Yaeger (Photo by Andrew Loehman).

Award is given as Southwestern dedicates its new Prothro Center for Lifelong Learning

The Prothro family of Wichita Falls, Texas, has received the President’s Philanthropy Award from Southwestern University. The award was presented March 11, the same day the university dedicated its new Charles and Elizabeth Prothro Center for Lifelong Learning.

The President’s Philanthropy Award is given to philanthropists who have transformed Southwestern through their generous gifts. The Prothro family’s relationship with Southwestern dates back 100 years when Lois Craddock Perkins attended Southwestern from 1908 to 1911. Elizabeth Prothro, daughter of Joe J. and Lois Craddock Perkins (for whom the Lois Perkins Chapel is dedicated) and her husband, Charles Prothro, funded the stained glass windows for the Lois Perkins Chapel in honor of their parents in 1952. In 1981, when the chapel was in need of renovation, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Prothro funded the entire project.

The Perkins-Prothro Foundation was among the major donors to the new Prothro Center, a three-story, 40,203 square-foot building will allow Southwestern to consolidate many student services in one location, including the Registrar, Counseling and Health Services, Career Services, the Center for Academic Success, the Office of Intercultural Studies and the Office of Civic Engagement. It also will serve as the home for Southwestern’s Paideia® Program, a three-year program that helps students make connections between what they are learning in the classroom and the world around them.

Beyond their generous financial investment in Southwestern, the Prothro family also has given significantly of its time. Charles Prothro served on Southwestern’s Board of Trustees from 1952 to 1982. He was chair of the Board for 11 of those years. Continuing his father’s generous service to the University, Joe N. Prothro joined the Board of Trustees in 1982 and served until 1998. He is a charter member of the University’s Board of Visitors.

“The Perkins and Prothro families have been exemplary leaders in helping to formulate and secure the future of Southwestern,” said President Jake B. Schrum. “Their latest gift, one in a constant stream of support to Southwestern, is the largest they have ever given.  Their thoughtful and generous support, coupled with their skillful leadership, have inspired this University for a century.”

Previous recipients of the President’s Philanthropy Award include the Cullen family and The Brown Foundation Inc. of Houston, Red and Charline McCombs of San Antonio, Houston investment company manager Fayez Sarofim, and the Priddy Charitable Trust of Wichita Falls.